As a researcher of social movements and digital technologies, I’m fascinated by the extraordinary wave of mutual aid activism that has emerged around the world in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, I am interested in how the mutual aid we’re seeing right now brings together low-tech offline tasks (packing groceries, cooking food) with an intense use of digital platforms, from Google spreadsheets to Instagram stories to Venmo transactions.
Have you been involved in mutual aid in 2020/2021? Did you donate money to a fundraiser? Did you volunteer to deliver groceries? Did you leave food in a community fridge? Did you pick up food from a community fridge? I’d love to talk to you.
My research project is called “Digital Mutual Aid: Activism in the COVID Pandemic” and looks at mutual aid in the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy. I’m interested in mapping existing mutual aid projects and the activist groups that promote them, with the objective to understand how they were/are organized, what role digital technologies played in their functioning, and what were the experiences of the activists that run/ran these projects.
If you are interested in helping me with this research, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact form on this page. At the moment, I’m organizing individual interviews with US-based mutual aid activists. The interviews will be done remotely, through Zoom/Skype/other videocall software and they will last about 60 minutes. The interviews will be (audio) recorded and then transcribed for analysis. I can offer a small honorarium ($25) via check or prepaid credit card. I will respect your privacy and not use your real name in this research.
You can read more about what your participation in this research would be like in the document.
[For US-based activists only, more info for UK & Italy forthcoming.]