Lectures

Solidarity, infrastructure and critical pedagogy during COVID-19: Lessons from Brazil

This article is part of the series:

Even before the pandemic hit Brazil’s favelas, residents began organizing to protect themselves — against both the novel coronavirus and the government’s active suppression of effective public health action (Ortega and Orsini, 2020). Seasoned activists began fund-raising, mobilizations donations, distributing food, masks, and hygiene kits, and writing policies and manifestos; volunteers signed up to learn basic first aid and walk …

Lectures

Everyday Infection, Looming Threat: Hospital-Based Infection Control in the United States

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Design by okb-buro.com

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have served a dual role in regards to infection control and management. Hospital emergency rooms and intensive care units have been overrun with COVID-19 patients coming from the community. Hospitals have also been sites of infectious disease spread as healthcare workers and patients share space, air, and ultimately, germs. Hospitals exist …

Lectures

Spectacular Infrastructure: Madrid’s Pandemic Hospital between Public Spectacle and Speculation

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Design by okb-buro.com

On a fresh autumn day in 2019, under Madrid’s deep-blue sky, I went for a morning coffee with Ernesto, an infectious-disease physician working in one of Spain’s largest public university hospitals, located in the city center. At the time, I was doing fieldwork on the consequences of Spain’s austerity policies for public healthcare in Madrid. Before passing …

Lectures

Infrastructure, Maintenance, and Waste in a Myanmar Hospital

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Design by okb-buro.com

Hand sketches shown in with this article are by the author from her fieldwork in Yangon in 2020. All images copyright by Nora Wuttke.

The area between the cardiac building and the dental outpatient department is busy. People are waiting and snacking on sour-spicy mangoes and other foods from little plastic bags, many of which can be …

Lectures

Wounded Attachments: Intimacy, Infrastructure, and Harm in the National Public Hospital

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The first thing you see from the highway is a massive building. The Hospital is simply enormous. In front of the Hospital plaza is a roundabout. In the center of the roundabout, a big flag of Argentina flies high: the white and light blue stripes encase the symbol of the smiling sun, moving in the wind on some days and …

Lectures

Heat and Covid-19 in the Off-Grid City

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Amidst almost unstoppable contagion, many have hung their hopes on heat and humidity as a potential defence against contracting Covid-19. In the early months of the pandemic studies of SARS-CoV-2 suggested that the virus is transmitted less efficiently in higher temperatures or at higher rates of humidity, leading to encouraging newspaper headlines around the world, from London to Jakarta. …