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Documentation of the International Conference on Aid, Solidarity and Politics, 12-14 February 2021
“The political in our time must be based on the imperative to reconstruct the world together. For the idea of decolonization to have any value on a planetary scale, it cannot be based on the assumption that I am purer than my neighbour.” Achille Mbembe
Many crises are currently interlinking to form a global crisis, which is densified in the Corona pandemic. The collapse of the old world order and with it the disintegration of supra-state and multilateral structures, the intrusion of economy in every corner of life, the return of an authoritarian nation state, the climate crisis and the surrender of politics – all symptoms of this crisis are brought to the point by the virus.
The world crisis becomes inescapable and physical where the survival of thousands, sometimes even millions of people depend on the aid they receive or get refused. What kind of world do we live in when aid only stabilizes a world order that is becoming increasingly needy and desperate? And: What kind of world is this, where aid is only an expression of the inability to make the world different and better?
Aid today must testify about the world it encounters and give account to itself and others about its own experiences and deeds. We want to bring these experiences to the fore for political discussion.
But this cannot only be about the crisis, it must always be about its solution: at least about attempts for a solution. We do know from such approaches that they must be global, that there must be solutions for everyone without exception, if they are to be fair and therefore sustainable. And the first question to be answered by all of us is the one about the possibilities of ending a politics which mean the end of politics, because it gives up working on global problems and instrumentalizes aid as garbage collection for the global devastations of capitalism.
The discussion of the world experience gathered in the aid sector will trace the beginnings of a renewed politics in the practices of solidarity that appear in the global protests for climate justice, the transnational feminist and anti-racist movements, the local uprisings for democracy, human rights and a dignified life. From there, our conference “The (Re)Construction of the World” wants to define the relationship between aid, solidarity and politics from the promise we have made to ourselves in the Declaration of Human Rights: The promise of a global and social order in which the rights granted to us all would be fully realized.
In the near future, the edited recordings of the individual panels will be presented here.