Mutual Aid: How to Survive the Crisis

Mutual Aid: How to Survive the Crisis

Saturday, July 18th, 12 PM Eastern Time. Online

Marisa Holmes

Art by N.O. Bonzo

In the current moment, we are faced with a highly contagious and deadly airborne disease, the ravaging of our planet, and unprecedented economic instability. The combined health, climate, and economic crises are permeating all of society and accelerating deaths for the most oppressed. This “perfect storm” has revealed the structural harm always present under the veil of legitimacy of the state and capitalist systems. In response to these conditions, people are not just waiting for those in power to give them answers and provide the resources they need. They’re beginning to wake up and build networks of Mutual Aid to survive.

This seminar will examine the theoretical underpinnings of Mutual Aid, historical examples of Mutual Aid as a method for collective survival and disaster relief, and highlight different Mutual Aid responses that have emerged in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways organizers are using digital platforms and tools to coordinate in real time, meet immediate needs, scale, and build long-term infrastructures.


Peter Kropotkin – Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (Introduction, Chapters 7 & 8)

Facilitator: Marisa Holmes is an organizer, filmmaker, and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. She has been active in social movements such as Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and Black Lives Matter as a facilitator and trainer. Her film work includes the feature documentaries All Day All Week: An Occupy Wall Street Story, an inside look at OWS, and Degage! which examines the post-revolutionary transition in North Africa, and the refugee crisis. She holds an MFA in Integrated Media from Hunter College, and is currently a PhD fellow in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. Her research interests include the sociology of media, critical theory, networks, and the public sphere. She is currently working on a book about new movements and social media.


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Mutual Aid: How to Survive the Crisis

Seminar registration


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