Academic Workshop

Aporetic affectscapes: Politics of care, violence and resilience during the pandemic crisis

This workshop will examine the intertwining of institutional structures and affective relations of care formed with respect to people’s experiences of violence and the call to act as resilient subjects in the absence of sustaining structures during the ongoing pandemic “crisis.”

Dominant representations of the pandemic have called, and continue to call, for individual adherence to the joint dictums #westayhome, #westaysafe, so as to “protect” the self and society, while healthcare systems fail to meet the pandemic’s exigencies. Such approaches result in obscuring the complexities of top- and bottom-up care provision, people’s lived experiences mediated by gender, race, sexuality, religion, class, and age, and hence the multiple forms that both violence and imperatives of resilience have taken in the name of “one more global crisis.”

Contrary to this approach, we are interested in the impact of institutional understandings and practices of care on the lived injustices of populations, both natives and migrants/refugees — despite the popular and state-led presumption that pandemics or other “natural crises” do not discriminate among their victims. To this end, this workshop will focus on the complex socio-historical processes that (re)shape the (ab)used notion of care, by reinvestigating issues of human rights, citizenship, democracy, borders, displacement, and foreignness, through the lenses of aporetic affective states of crisis, related to the (re)production of sexism, racism, nationalism, and homophobia/transphobia. At the same time, we wish to interrogate the social effects of the notion of “resilience” when populations are guided by governments to adapt to unexpected change and uncertainty at times of crisis, and when individuals are expected to show “responsibility, adaptability and preparedness” (Joseph 2013: 40).

By proposing the notion of aporetic affectscapes and by combining anthropological and philosophical questions on subjectivity, affect, biopolitics, and performativity with ethnographic dilemmas on structural violence, we co-explore how emotionally loaded sites interact and define people’s understanding of their ability to affect and be affected by each other. Thus, this workshop aims locate the instances where different forms of violence during the ongoing pandemic crisis appear to position processes of care not only as critical sites of exposing the effects of violence (representational, economic, psychological, physical, etc.), but also as a field of possible resistance through practices of mutual aid, commoning, and building alternative networks. Given this two-dimensional concern of the workshop, it will co-examine the notions of care, violence, resilience, affect, and crisis by underlining their performative rather predetermined qualities and by asking: What does care do? What does it imply in terms of its gendered and sexualised connotations? On what affectscapes do violence and processes of resilience rely? What does the current “crisis” narrative do to people’s lived (differential) presents and (un)anticipated futures?  

The workshop will take place on Saturday 18 March 2023, at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. This workshop is not open to the public but aims to discuss work in progress for a future publication.

Provisional Programme

10:15 – 10:30 Welcome and Introductions

Panel 1

10:30 – 11:15

Alessandra Gribaldo

The dark side of intimacy: relations, care, gender violence

Discussion: Venetia Kantsa

11:15 – 12:00

Ruth Preser

The Logic of Emergency and the Emergence of Civic Infrastructures: Care for Women without Status in Israel

Discussion: Athina Papanagiotou

Panel 2

12:00 – 12:45

Eirini Avramopoulou

Burning issues, burned subjects: Cruel temporalities in the field of gender-based violence

Discussion: Elena Tzelepis

12:45 – 13:15

Cynthia Malakasis

Ceilings of care: Working in the field of gender-based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic in Athens

Discussion: Diana Manesi

13:15 – 14:30 Lunch and Coffee break

Panel 3

14:30 – 15:15

Eleni Papagaroufali

Caretakers of GBV survivors performing “para-ethnography”

Discussion: Dikaios Sakellariou

15:15 – 16:00

Elizabeth Davis

“The Secret of the Cemetery”: Care for the Dead in Lesvos

Discussion: Eleni Papagaroufali

16:00 – 17:15

Meltem Ahıska

Hate and lines of fracture: Rethinking the structuring of care

Discussion: Athena Athanasiou

Short break

17:30 – 18:30 Discussion on publication plans amongst the participants

Participants’ titles and abstracts:

Meltem Ahıska : Hate and lines of fracture: Rethinking the structuring of care

After the first cases of the Covid 19 pandemic in Turkey in March 2020 the first move of the authorities was to isolate the problem within the frame of the individual and family.  The slogan “life fits into thehome” (Hayat Eve Sığar) was not only popularized through government speeches and media but also became the code word (HES) for monitoring the pandemic. Care was privatized within home and entrusted mostly to women, but with the worsening of the cases hospitals also had to become centers of medical care.  The health workers were first heroized by society for their sacrifice, endurance and resilience akin to discourses on motherhood, but soon after they were subjected to hate speech coupled with actions of violence against them supposedly for reasons of neglect and mistreatment.  The health workers went a on a strike for two days after the murdering of a doctor by a patient’s son, and their demonstration in Istanbul in July 2022 was attacked brutally by the police.

In my presentation I would like to focus on “hate”, which is a very difficult affect to talk about, in order to discuss how structural problems concerning the current regimes of care can be more creatively integrated to the studies on affects and care. Drawing on Winnicott’s psychoanalytical assessment of hate between mother and child as well as between the therapist and the patient, I suggest to look at “hate” more closely instead of assuming “love” as the natural basis of care. Winnicott argues that a mother can hate her baby due to valid reasons, and if these remain unspoken and veiled by the idealization of motherhood and love they can lead to harmful projections of hate/resentment in the relation between the care giver and the care taker. Recognizing hate as a significant affect could enable us to understand not only how hate is organized and mobilized as a power discourse in today’s world but also could provide a new perspective for rethinking the environmental conditions and structures of care affected by privatization, inequality, discrimination, and violence.

Eirini Avramopoulou : Burning issues, burned subjects: Cruel temporalities in the field of gender-based violence

Drawing on the development of critical engagement with discourse, identity, and representation through affect theory, since the 1990s, this paper focuses on the affective circulation of knowledge about gender-based violence and interrogates the effects of injurious stereotypes reiterated in the name of acting against violence. The joint dictums #westayhome and #westaysafe during the Covid-19 pandemic in Greece, coupled with the intensification of policing and securitization, evoked liberal fantasies of heteronormative family structure, care, and comfort that concealed the reality of homes as spaces haunted by the threat of violence, and the psychological impact of domestic confinement on the population. At the same time, the Greek MeToo campaign, the continuing proliferation of news reports on battered women and feminicides, especially those ‘shocking’ cases that led to trials of famous actors and politicians, the alt-right attacks on gender theory scholars, and the legal changes on the joined child-custody, seem to have created the necessary public “noise” whichshook the ground of what has been a “public secret” for too long. In this contested context, I ask: how do particular forms of knowledge turn into urgent matters and mediate the (im)possibility of making sense of the gendered effects of violence?

Relying on interviews conducted with lawyers and caretakers that reflect feelings of anger, exhaustion, self-annulment and disempowerment due to a ‘caring economy’ devoid of the necessary infrastructures, and taking into consideration that being exposed to GBV violence is affected by pain, fear, guilt, remorse, anger, mourning, lost self-esteem, I also ask: How does knowledge about violence reproduce the effects of violence aiming to combat and thus ‘burns out’ those involved in this field? Or else, what makes GBV so resilient despite the actual “noise” that knowledge about it makes?  By asking these questions, this paper attempts to unravel the affective atmosphere of “burning issues” in relation to both givers and recipients of care who get entangled in the temporal webs of waiting, delays and impasses that are induced by the socio-legal structures ostensibly providing care and protection while ending up reproducing multiple burns: from victimhood to depletion of strength and energy to act.

Ultimately this context begs for possible answers beyond the frame of a carceral feminist perspective or a legal feminist rhetoric that try to find ‘right ways’ to re-write laws, restructure policy-making, policing and prison systems. Instead, as I would like to argue, it forces us to consider such issues from a social justice perspective (rather than a criminal justice one), and interrogate the cruel temporalities at work when the urgency of action and its biopolitical effects, might also burnthe possibility to demand social justice differently. Thus, along with José Esteban Muñoz (2011), I also wonder what kind of hope might lie in tracing the “afterburns” of vulnerable and dispossessed people which “leave resonant indentions on the world”.

Elizabeth Davis : “The Secret of the Cemetery”: Care for the Dead in Lesvos

In this paper, I explore burial practices and deathscapes in contemporary Greece to reckon with possibilities of social and political change. The paper draws from preliminary ethnographic research in several contexts: a thirteenth-century monastery in northern Greece inhabited and run by a community of Orthodox nuns; the two largest municipal cemeteries in Athens; the only crematorium in Greece, a privately owned and operated facility north of Athens that opened in 2019 after the legalization of cremation; and several municipal cemeteries and “unauthorized” graveyards in Lesvos, where activists have attempted respectful burials of migrants who died at sea or in refugee camps. By examining “orthodox” and “heterodox” burial practices across these different contexts in Greece, I seek to understand the effects of the so-called economic crisis, the so-called refugee crisis, and the COVID pandemic on moral traditions of care for the dead that are plural, if not pluralist. In particular, I examine ideas about the physical and moral integrity of the body, what happens to the body after death, what that bodily process requires of the living in terms of proper care, and whether and how alterity – of “others” and of death itself – is assimilated socially and politically in such practices of care.

This paper will focus on the ethical imagination of proper care for the migrant dead in Lesvos. Since the first phase of the so-called refugee crisis in 2015, and with renewed commitment during the COVID pandemic, humanitarian and solidarian organizations have sought to include deceased migrants and their grieving relatives in legal frameworks of protection and care; for example, the 2018 Mytilini Declaration[1] asserts, among other principles, the necessity to “collect, examine, and preserve all bodies” and “take all reasonable steps to identify the deceased and to determine the cause and manner of death” (A5, A7). These procedures of identification and fact-finding are understood by their proponents to safeguard the dignity of the dead, as well as the rights of relatives to know what happened to their loved ones and to make decisions about the ultimate disposition of their remains. Yet these ethico-legal principles of procedure may, in some cases, violate the “the known or likely cultural wishes of the deceased and their next of kin,” which also command respect, in the terms proposed by The Last Rights Project (for example) in their recent report on the impact of COVID on refugees and migrants (2021, 17.4). In the near absence of state and municipal infrastructure and protocols for handling hundreds upon hundreds of deceased migrants, activists and others have helped to transport, identify, and bury their bodies, as well as to mark and maintain their graves – activities that incite procedural innovation and speculation about the wishes of the dead, especially regarding cultural and religious rituals. In this paper, I consider how these innovative and speculative performances of care for the dead challenge and recontextualize communal and national boundaries among the living.

Alessandra Gribaldo : The dark side of intimacy: relations, care, gender violence

The aim of my contribution is to address the issue of intimacy in its interrelations with gender violence and care through the lens of kinship and family relations. Put otherwise, I intend to investigate in what terms the notion of intimacy implies violence, and how seductiveness and love are identified as domains of choice and freedom to be preserved against those who speak out (Kipnis 2018). The academic and policy-makers’ debates on intimate partner violence involve necessarily the role couple, marriage, dependence, reproduction and care, play in the dynamics of abuse. In this presentation my aim is to eschew such dominant normative narratives that focus on the victim’s identification on the one hand, and the need for women’s autonomy on the other. Instead I will attempt to delve into diverse significative forms of solidarity, communality and relations that not only do not involve family and kinship ties, but also that do not imply necessarily strong and lasting relationships. Through this perspective the very issues of intimacy and care can be questioned and/or enriched. Starting from the debate about the difference and similarities between friendship and kinship (Strathern 2020), I would like to take into account how historically marginalized, and precarious subjects (LGBTQ+ communities, disabled, non-autonomous, poor and racialized people) have long questioned stability, monogamy, heteronormativity, together with the ideals of autonomy and work (Acquistapace 2022), in order to reconfigure the geographies of affection and care and make possible different ways to imagine the social. Interestingly, the policies related to Covid made evident the troubles the states faced in defining which relations are strong and indispensable for the implementation of care work by institutions. In this presentation I will try to address what is considered intimate (strong, deep, rooted, chosen, taken for granted) and what superficial (occasional, relative, sporadic, contingent) by people involved with issues of violence and care, in order to rethink the link between intimacy, care, and gender violence.

Cynthia Malakasis : Ceilings of care: Working in the field of gender-based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic in Athens

This article draws on a series of semi-structured interviews with frontline workers in the field of gender-based violence (GBV), in state and non-governmental structures, who were asked to relay their experiences of providing care to survivors during the two major Covid-19 lockdowns in Athens, between March 2020 and May 2021. The pandemic found the country ravaged by subsequent “crises,” dubbed such to obscure their structural underpinnings and political effects: the debt “crisis,” which legitimized public disinvestment, and the refugee “crisis,” which legitimized the externalization of asylum and the severe curtailment of refugees’ civil rights and social provisions, particularly since 2019. Meanwhile, the governance of refugees’ care and reception allowed the non-governmental sector to entrench itself in Greek policy-making and social care. Given this context and building on previous research on the intertwining of the state and NGOs in the social care of refugees in Athens, I interrogate how the complex web of institutional actors, policy-making consortia, and ground-level collaborations produce the context where frontline workers must provide care. As subsequent “crises” pile upon each other to exacerbate existing or generate new forms of structural violence, what kind of care regimes become normalized? More importantly, (how) do people involved in the care of GBV survivors come to internalize or contest the limits of what they can offer? Greece’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention in 2018 and the Greek version of #metoo, which kicked off in late 2020, supposedly instigated a series of institutional initiatives against GBV. How does this correspond to the lived experience of frontline workers? As a parergon running parallel to the main discussion, the article traces the multiple encounters of the researcher with the term “prioritization” during the period of research, within and outside the field of study.

Eleni Papagaroufali : Caretakers of GBG survivors performing “para-ethnography”

In this presentation I will speak about the epistemic methods adopted by activists and official professionals who supported and took care of GBV women survivors, in shelters and consulting centers, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Greece. The in depth interviews conducted among these caretakers in the year of 2022 brought to the fore their epistemological concerns and led me to examine the ways their methodologies converge with (more than differ from) the ones performed by anthropologists doing ethnographic research in the field: openness to the “other”; participant observation of, and collaboration with interlocutors coming from worlds “other” than, or similar, even same to, one’s own; commitment to the “others”’ lived experiences of situations that trouble or please them; attentiveness to body language and to language as bodily; sensitivity to the invisible, the ineffable and the silences; endurance to the unknown, always emerging futures of such encounters, and simultaneous alertness to face unexpected knowledge and previously unimagined affective co-existences and co-lived experiences. I will suggest that these convergences are owed to the phenomenological approach applied, intentionally and unintentionally, by both caretakers and anthropologists. Put otherwise, their multisensory, even visceral, engagement with the people taken care of, and/or studied, urges both caretakers and anthropologists to put emphasis, consciously and unconsciously, on the (inter-)subjective perceptions of (unequal) lives, lived by their interlocutors and or themselves.

Some anthropologists have coined the term “para-ethnography” and “para-ethnographer[s]” to refer to those non-anthropologists whose academic studies, research interests, and activist concerns are similar to anthropologists’ own, and whose reflexivity on epistemological issues of their own disciplines and activities has led them to follow methodologies similar to the ethnographic ones. The two neologisms aim at encouraging anthropologists to collaborate with non-anthropologists and to proceed to mutual epistemological experiments that will probably produce new knowledge. Underlying this suggestion lies the definition of ethnography not as an empiricist “technique” stemming from a “theory” and guaranteeing “authentic/objective” results, but as a politically situated performative act/practice which is capable of revealing, (re)producing, (re)forming, even overthrowing the regimes of truth under study or acted upon.

In this presentation I will approach activists and professional caretakers of GBV survivors as “para-ethnographers” in order to declare my willingness to cooperate with them in a common effort to give tentative answers to aporetic questions such as: How can ‘consulting’ and ‘sheletering’ be transformed into ‘caring’? What does care do? Where is located? On what emotional interrelationships or affectscapes do GBV and processes of resistance or resilience rely?

Ruth Preser : The Logic of Emergency and the Emergence of Civic Infrastructures: Care for Women without Status in Israel

The proposed paper seeks to track the notion of emergency, and the ways in which it is employed in treating women without legal status in Israel, during and beyond COVID-19 crisis. State of emergency was declared on 1948 by the Provisional Council of State, and has since been renewed every year by the parliament. While it serves as a legal tool to manage crises, such as armed conflicts or global pandemic, emergency is also the logic by which everyday life is formulated and conveys meanings and consequences beyond its administrative aspects, reflecting a mindset in Israeli society (Navot 2018). Thus, the protocols of the state of emergency that never ends, have a practical meaning on a daily basis (Berda 2013). For example, emergency is the organizing principle by which budgets and services for women without legal status are justified and allocated. It is the formula that enables welfare and health workers to provide (limited) care, in an otherwise context of institutional abandonment. First, I draw on research conducted in 2018 and 2019 on the ramifications of living without legal status in Israel and in particular focus on three groups: Palestinian women residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) who are married to Palestinian citizens of Israel; asylum-seeking women from Africa (the overwhelming majority of whom are from Eritrea); and women from the Former Soviet Union (FSU), who have been trafficked by the sex industry, or who have lost their status after separating from their Israeli-citizen spouse before completing their phased process of naturalization (in some cases due to intimate violence or threats to their lives. At the same time, I also rely on complimentary data collected recently that relates to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to explore the interpretative work performed by service providers, that is not congruent with the hegemonic standpoint. By interpreting emergency regulations, a complementary infrastructure emerges that relies on human collaborations between women without legal status, civil society, and institutional actors. Termed as ‘people as infrastructures’ by Abdoumaliq Simone (2013), this practice evolves where formal policy fails, and as a response to pressing needs and harsh realities. This reveals a potential for reciprocal efforts and collaborative work and emphasizes how ongoing interactions may design unpredictable infrastructures and create trajectories of care and belonging.

Participants’ short CVs

Meltem Ahıska is Professor of Sociology at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She has written and edited a number of books, including Occidentalism in Turkey: Questions of Modernity and National Identity in Turkish Radio Broadcasting. Her articles and essays on Occidentalism, social memory, monuments, political subjectivity, gender, and feminism have appeared in various journals and edited volumes. She is a member of the editorial board of the e-journal Red Thread, and of the editorial advisory board of the e-journal Critical Times.

Eirini Avramopoulou is Assistant Professor of Social Anthropology and P.I. of the Cov-Care research, hosted at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece. She has done extensive research in Turkey and Greece while her research interests include anthropology of human rights, social movements and activism; feminist and psychoanalytic approaches to subjectivity, biopolitics and affect; and more recently she focuses on asylums, displacement, memory, trauma and ‘caring economies’. She is the author of Porno-graphics and Porno-tactics: Desire, Affect and Representation in Pornography, (co-edited with Irene Peano, 2016, Punctum Books), Affect in the Political: Subjectivities, Power and Inequalities in the Modern World, 2018, Nisos: Athens (in Greek), and Sexuality’s Object(ion)s. Critical Theories, Interdisciplinary Readings, co-edited with Aspa Chalkidou, 2022, Topos: Athens (in Greek). She is a member of the editorial advisory board of the e-journal Feministiqά.

Elizabeth Davis is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University (U.S.), where she is also affiliated with the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies. Her research in Greece and Cyprus concerns the psyche, the body, history, and power, in the context of expert and subaltern epistemologies and ethics. Her first book, Bad Souls: Madness and Responsibility in Modern Greece (Duke University Press, 2012), is an ethnographic study of responsibility among psychiatric patients and their caregivers in the borderland between Greece and Turkey. She has also written two books based on her research in Cyprus. The first, Artifactual: Forensic and Documentary Knowing (Duke University Press, 2023), addresses public secrecy and knowledge projects about the violence of the 1960s-70s that led to the enduring division of Cyprus, including forensic investigations of the missing, visual archives, and documentary film. The second, The Time of the Cannibals: On “Conspiracy Theory” and Context, offers a case study on “conspiracy theory” in Cyprus as grounds for rethinking conspiratology and political theology. She has written on economic “crisis” and suicide in Greece as well, and is currently making a documentary film addressing the public life of sacred bones in Cyprus.

Alessandra Gribaldo, is associate professor at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. She trained at the University of Siena, Italy, and received a degree in philosophy and a doctorate in ethno-anthropological research methodologies in 2004. After working on kinship, body and gender in the context of reproductive technologies (La Natura Scomposta. Riproduzione assistita, genere, parentela 2005), and on procreative choices in low fertility contexts for the Brown University, she addressed diverse issues: gender and ethnography (with V. Ribeiro Corossacz, La produzione del genere. Ricerche etnografiche sul femminile e sul maschile, 2010); the relationship between visuality and gender (with the art historian Giovanna Zapperi Lo schermo del potere. Femminismo e regime della visibilità, 2012); kinship and migration, (with sociologist Francesca Decimo Boundaries within. Nation, Kinship and Identity among Migrants and Minorities, 2017); and more recently through the “Independent Research Fellowship Award”, (ISRF, UK), intimate partner violence (Unexpected Subjects. Intimate Partner Violence, Testimony and the Law, Hau Books-Chicago University Press, 2021). Her latest research project concerns an anthropology of home movies.

Cynthia Helen Malakasis is a cultural anthropologist interested in nationalism, ethnicity, race, post-colonial dynamics with an emphasis on intra-European hierarchies, reproductive care, citizenship, and Greece. Her doctoral project, at Florida International University, examined whether and how post-1989, mass immigration to Greece challenged the country’s nationalist norms of collective belonging. From 2016 to 2020, she conducted ERC-funded, post-doctoral research on the maternity care of migrants and refugees in Athens. As part of Cov-Care, her research focuses on the institutional handling of gender-based violence, as well as on gendered citizenship in the era of authoritarian neoliberalism. At the completion of Cov-Care, I will conduct research, as the P.I. of a four-member team, on the reproductive care of Roma women in the Greek public-health system. Her project, funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation, will be hosted at the Department of Social Anthropology at Panteion University.

Eleni Papagaroufali is member of the research project Cov-Care and Professor Emerita of Social Anthropology at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (Athens, Greece). She is the author of two books in Greek: Gifts of Life after Death. Cultural Experiences. Athens, Patakis Publications, 2012 [2002], and Soft diplomacy. Transnational twinnings and pacifist practices in contemporary Greece. Athens, Alexandreia Publications, 2013. She has also written numerous articles and chapters in Greek and foreign peer-reviewed journals and collected volumes on issues of gender, embodiment, health, and the transnational relations between Greece and the European Union.

Ruth Preser is a faculty member at Tel-Hai Academic College and a scholar in the field of gender studies, combining feminist and queer theory and empirically informed inquiry. She studies forms of citizenship, the public sphere and politics of belonging in the context of kinship, migration, diasporic cultures and urban environments. She is co-founder of the Haifa Feminist Institute – Archive, Library and Research Centre, and a member of Isha L’Isha Haifa Feminist Centre. Her current research explores women without legal status in Israel.

Discussants’ short CVs

Athena Athanasiou is Professor of Social Anthropology and Gender Theory at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (Athens, Greece). She is Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Director of the Laboratory of Anthropological Research. Among her publications are the books: Agonistic Mourning: Political Dissidence and the Women in Black (Edinburgh University Press, 2017); Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (with Judith Butler, Polity Press, 2013); Crisis as a ‘State of Exception’ (Athens, 2012); Life at the Limit: Essays on Gender, Body and Biopolitics (Athens, 2007); Rewriting Difference: Luce Irigaray and ‘the Greeks’ (co-ed. with Elena Tzelepis, SUNY Press, 2010); Deconstructing the Empire: Theory and Politics of Postcolonial Studies (Athens, 2016); Feminist Theory and Cultural Critique (Athens, 2006); Biosocialities (Athens, 2011). She has been a fellow at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, at Brown University, and at the Center for the Study of Social Difference, at Columbia University. She is a member of the editorial advisory board of several journals (Critical TimesFeminist FormationsPhilosophy, Politics and CritiqueJournal of Greek Media and Culture, and others).

Venetia Kantsa is Professor in Social Anthropology and Director of the Laboratory of Family and Kinship Studies at the Department of Social Anthropology and History, School of Social Sciences, University of the Aegean. She completed her PhD Thesis at the University of London (London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Anthropology, 2001) on same-sex relationships among women in contemporary Greece, the lesbian movement and lesbian communities, the (in)visibility of same-sex desires. She has done extensive ethnographic research on same-sex families, motherhood and new forms of parenthood, kinship in the context of assisted reproduction, interrelations among kinship, medical technology, law and religion. Her research interests and publications also include theory of kinship, epistemology and methodology of gender in social sciences, politics of sexuality and conceptualizations of citizenship, feminist and queer theory, relations among human and non-human entities from the perspective of an anthropology οf nature. She was Principal Investigator in the Research Program (In)FERCIT (funded by Aristeia I, 2012-2015), while she participates into the interdisciplinary research program Changing (In)Fertilities (funded by Welcome Trust, University of Cambridge) and the research program BIO-AGE The biosocial experience of aging during the Covid-19 pandemic (funded by ELIDEK, University of the Aegean).

Diana Manesi completed her PhD studies in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths College. She has taught at the Social Anthropology department for three consecutive years. Last year, she taught the course “Gender, Science and Technology” at NKUA. Her research interests include feminist and queer theory, queer anthropology, biopolitics, gender violence, migration and the refugee experience, affect theory. Part of her work has been published at academic journals and edited volumes. She has worked as a researcher and trainer/educator at the Center for Gender Rights and Equality “Diotima.” She has also worked as a volunteer at the UK National Domestic Violence Helpline in London. She also engages with experimental writing and writes proze/poetry against, within and throughout her precarious living conditions. In the last year she is an active member of “Lesbians* on the verge” where she attempts to bring together queer and lesbian discourse and praxis.

Athina Papanagiotou studied law in the University of Athens and holds an MA in gender studies from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. She works as a postdoctoral researcher (for the research programme “Antigones: Bodies of Resistance in the Contemporary World”, PI: Elena Tzelepis) and a lawyer. Her doctoral research (Democritus University and Birkbeck Law School) problematizes the traditional interpretative methodology of law and explores the critical potentialities of legal interpretation, deploying Derridean deconstruction and focusing on the legal recognition of same-sex partnership. Her research interests lie at the intersections of critical legal theory, philosophy of law, human rights, political theory, feminist and queer theory, relationality, and biopolitics. She is the co-translator/co-editor (together with Thanos Zartaloudis) of the Greek edition of Giorgio Agamben’s Means Without End: Notes on Politics and What is an Apparatus (Nissos, 2020).  She teaches philosophy of law and legal theory.

Dikaios Sakellariou is a Reader in Disability Studies at the School of Healthcare Sciences in Cardiff University (UK) and a consultant at the Disability, Rehabilitation, Palliative Care and Long Term Care Unit at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. He is a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology (USA) and an external affiliate at the Department of Anthropology, Monash University (Australia) and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK). His research interests revolve around practices of care, the intersubjectivity of care, global health policy development, and experiences of disablement. He studied occupational therapy at the TEI of Athens and at Sapporo Medical University (Japan) and received his PhD from Cardiff University (UK) for a thesis titled ‘”As you can see, we plod along”; narratives of living with motor neurone disease in Wales. He has published widely in public health, medical anthropology, and disability studies and he is a co-editor of Disability, Normalcy, and the Everyday (Routledge, 2018) with Gareth Thomas. 

Elena Tzelepis completed her doctoral studies in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research, New York City. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece. She has taught at Columbia University, New York City, and as a visiting faculty at various universities in the world. She has been a research affiliate and collaborator in the context of research institutions as the Center for Research on Social Difference at Columbia University, The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London, and the International Consortium of Critical Theory at the University of Berkeley. She has published on critique, deconstruction, and social change, on the intersections of politics and art, on the politics of difference, on vulnerability and embodied resistance, on the political and the psychical, and on nomadic cartographies, subjectivity and power. She is the Principal Investigator of a research on contemporary decolonial and ex-centric AntigoneS and embodied resistance with regard to contemporary conditions of political violence, biopolitics, otherness, and displacement funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation.

[1] Declaration for the Dignified Treatment of all Missing and Deceased Persons and their Families as a Consequence of Migrant Journeys, established on 11 May 2018 by representatives from The Last Rights Project and many other organizations and initiatives.