Communicating care has been swiftly ritualized in the pandemic, from rainbow paintings to birthday horn-honking caravans to nightly cheering of workers through city streets. These actions show dearness accruing at points of need and suggest that the language of care provides one kind of sustenance across a straining society.
In a transnational context, co-residence and touch are not possible due to the geographic distance among family members. Instead, calling has become an elder care practice: sharing everydayness on the phone by sharing the details of one’s daily life is a way of enacting co-presence at a distance, not only as a feeling, but as a concrete practice that involves parents, their children, and phones.
It was my second time attending the neighborhood association meeting in the community where I was doing fieldwork. The association president had invited me, saying he thought it would be great if I talked about my project with the attendees and that, perhaps, some people would want to share about their experiences living under food apartheid.
Beginning with a statement of non-attachment to fixed space—a clear indication of her preference to speak in terms of relationality rather than spatiality—Maya described the conditions for what she believed to be an optimal healing space for Black people. It must be safe and welcoming, and further, it is one of her duties as a healer to hold it. Maya is an affiliated practitioner of the new up-and-coming Black-owned wellness café in Brooklyn where I have been conducting fieldwork.
The Culture & Agriculture Sensorium explores the intersections between sensory experiences, agri-food systems, and the socio-political conventions surrounding food production. In this installation, Rebecca Richard explores the role of touch in the care of race horses and the place of this skill within horse racing’s labor hierarchy.