Quiet Gestures: Care, Wellness and Looking After as Strategies of Survival and Resistance

Ana Carvalho, Sophie McCuen-Koytek, Sarnt Utamachote, Cornelia Lund

Departing from the limitations of political perspectives on care, we discuss non-hierarchical, non-westernized approaches to caregiving as exemplified in art and music video. Here, care as intimate, reciprocal gesture becomes part of powerful political strategies in decolonial and queer struggles.
Stage 3

Caring is often based on parameters such as gender, social inequality, institutionalization, and the commodification of care. Sustained on a dichotomy of the giver and the receiver, this perspective excludes the non-formal, non-hierarchical, non-white, and non-westernized modes of looking after. Outside politics, the social impact of care remains the invisible force binding people together as kin and as communities.
Using artworks and music videos by Tabita Rezaire, Linn da Quebrada and others as examples, we will discuss these neglected forms of caring as reciprocity, construction of intimacy, and as a means of protection and empowerment in Audre Lorde’s sense. These quiet gestures of looking after hold enormous power of resistance when performed by fragile communities in their struggle for mental and physical wellbeing in otherwise indifferent or hostile contexts. We will ask, how, consequently, they can become powerful political strategies in decolonial or queer struggles.

Ana Carvalho
Assistant Professor
Picture of Sophie
art historian & media scholar
Sarnt Utamachotes Porträt
Filmemacher*in & Kurator*in
Cornelia Lund at University of Windsor, Canada
curator and artsitic director