Austria

Transnational care meeting in Vienna, 17.-18. May 2014

City: Vienna
Date: 17 – 18 May
Location: U5, Universitätsstraße 5
transnat-care

Dear friends and comrades,

We, the Blockupy Platform Vienna, want to invite you to a transnational meeting under the slogan “Solidarity beyond Borders – Building Democracy from below. Transnational Care Meeting: Crisis and Resistance”, on the 17th and 18th of May 2014. We want to exchange our experiences, positions, activities and struggles concerning care work.
Participants are welcome to arrive already on Friday (16 May) so we can get to know each other in advance. We will provide accommodation and food for participants if needed. On Saturday (17 May) we will start with a workshop in which the participants can reflect on the topic “care” and it’s meaning as well as share their previous experiences, talk about struggles of the past and exchange ideas how to win future struggles.
Afterwards a talk about the topic will be held, followed by an open discussion. Later on we are planning to carry out a direct action in order to make the topic more visible in the public. On Sunday (18 May) we will round off the weekend together with a reflection on our meeting.

For us the term “care” means a lot of different activities, including all forms of so called housework or reproductive work, emotional work to support our friends and families and also to look after ourselves. This work is done both in the form of poorly paid wage labour as well as unpaid labour. All of these activities are crucial for the social reproduction of our society.

For a long time these activities were framed as reproductive work and gained almost no attention in economic theories. Therefore care-work was pushed to the “private” sphere and was thereby made invisible. However, this has slightly changed. Care-work in the form of wage labour is rapidly increasing, commodified forms of care gain more and more importance in economies and society.

At the same time, the economic and financial crisis is being used as an excuse to impose severe austerity measures. The so called “crisis solving” strategies mean severe cuts and privatization especially in areas like health care, social work and education. This has enormous consequences for the workers in those areas, which have to compensate cuts by working more and longer. It also affects many women in their private lives because they can no longer afford paid care services and have to do this work in addition to their wage labour. Another strategy for solving acute care problems is the low paid and/or informal work under onerous working conditions. Often migrant women from neighboring countries work undocumented in this area. To describe the latter problem, the term “transnational care space” is often used. Such spaces are for example located in the regions of Graz and Maribor/Ljubljana or Bratislava and Vienna.

Since care relations are crossing borders and we want our movements to do so too, we want to initialize a first international meeting. There would be space for getting to know each other and changing expectations. We would like to discuss three different topics: a discussion about the concept of care and what it means for us, learn about the consequences of the financial and economic crisis for the different fields and the presentation of current struggles in the area of care work, especially concerning the questions of the transnational care spaces located in these regions. Also we would appreciate a small shared action to make care work more visible in public.

We have already invited groups and individuals from Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia and other places. If you would like to attend the meeting or have any further questions or remarks, please don’t hesitate to contact us: blockupy-wien@riseup.net

For further information, please visit: http://wien.blockupy-frankfurt.org