Lectures

Fighting for injection in Paris

This article is part of the series:
Figure 1: Non-safe-injection site behind Paris’ Gare du Nord, February 2016 (all photos by author).

The first time I ever saw a person shooting up was right behind Paris’s Gare du Nord railway station in 2015. He was crouched in front of the low concrete wall in the picture (Figure 1). I had met André[1] when I volunteered at …

Lectures

Heat and Covid-19 in the Off-Grid City

This article is part of the series:

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. …

Lectures

The metropolis and mental life in the age of COVID-19: Delaying descent into the blasé attitude

This article is part of the series:

The COVID city: Class, physical isolation, and virtual connection

At the time of writing this we are all experiencing what the classical sociologist Émile Durkheim would call a “social fact” — something that cuts across all individuals and exerts social control on each of us. Today this solidarity-in-separation encompasses almost the whole world (Davies 2019). We are also enduring a …

Lectures

The balcony: normativity lessons in times of crisis

This article is part of the series:

The balcony has become a powerful domestic space symbolizing corona-solidarity in the south of Europe. Movie clips of Italians singing their national anthem from their balconies were broadcast worldwide in the evening news. Such a moving and spontaneous event united people quarantined. Italians, too, killed time making and hanging hand-crafted signs from their balconies with the phrase ‘Andrà tutto bene’—everything …

Lectures

Social Soils and Chimerical Metabolisms

The metabolic rift

“All progress in capitalist agriculture is a progress in the art, not only of robbing the worker, but of robbing the soil,” Marx (1976: 637-38) wrote in Volume I of Capital. For Marx, not only was the capitalist mode of production incapable of valuing nature in its own right, but its central contradictions also left it …

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