The coronavirus and its associated crises, are being graphically narrated by cartographies of the spatial spread of contagion, numbers of deaths, health care capacities, unemployment numbers, etc. We have gotten used to checking those maps in the daily news, feeding our anxieties and imaginaries of contagion, risk, and danger. Yet, what is left out of this type of statistics-based mapping, this perspective from above? And how could we use these maps to share other stories, other experiences, to connect them and to organize? What can we learn from how our daily lives are re-invented inside the differentiated confinement of quarantines? What do the pandemic and quarantine reveal about the previous ‘normality’ and its breaking points? What possibilities for political action are closed off and which open up? And this May Day, we return to an old question, but with a new twist: what is your strike (in quarantine)?
With this in mind, we want to propose a collective mapping of our quarantines, the care chains that we are involved in, and our possible strikes. Make maps either individually or collectively and then please send them to us at countercartographies(at)gmail.com & let us know if you want to be involved in future projects!
1. Map your quarantine! Where do you go, in your house, in your neighborhood or your city? Where do you work? Where and how do you connect with others? How is your mobility limited in this time? Make a time-use chart: how do you spend your days? How much time are you working, caring for others, consuming, anxiously watching the news, etc.?
2. Map your chains of interconnection: whose care and labor makes your quarantine possible? For example, where does your food come from? Where does your trash go? And whose quarantine are you making possible with your labor? Landlords, bosses, Jeff Bezos? What geographies of mutual aid and solidarity are you involved in?
3. Map your strike: What will you stop doing? What will you stop consuming? What will you stop paying?