Article from the HATISOS project

Self-care is a strategy of political resistance, and there is an emergency to democratize it and see it not as something individual, but as something only possible in its collective dimension. In the reflection and action that allows us to learn to feel accompanied among ourselves, to resist and transform from the deep understanding of belonging to something more than “one self”. It is in this collective space where subversive power is exercised. In this sense, self-care is not only fundamental for individual wellbeing, but also for the survival of movements and organizations, as it is a strategy of resistance and resilience.

(Self-)care is a term that began to develop especially in the feminist movement, as a response to the trauma suffered by women victims of gender violence. In fact, in recent times the discourse of self-care has been incorporated into the agenda of feminist practices, approached from very diverse perspectives. Often from the global north, self-care is understood from a disarticulating and individualistic perspective; capitalist logics have denied us this perception of care from a deeper, ancestral and communitarian vision. That is why, many times, when we talk about self-care we think of the world of mindfulness, therapy, etc. All these things are not bad in themselves, but if they are not connected to the collectivity with the creation of a community and a network, we will never be truly “cared for” because human beings are interdependent. In the face of this, we have the knowledge of our partners in the Global South, especially in Latin America, who speak from the perspective of good living (el buen vivir), taking care of each other, sharing discomforts and accompanying each other.

The Social Solidarity Economy has done important work in the area of care, based on the premise of the urgency of moving towards a life-centered economy. In this sense, care can function as a policy to guide this necessary transition in two ways: a reorganization of socially necessary work and the replacement of the public-private logic with a public-social-community logic.

Furthermore, the term democratization of care is powerful and evocative, as it implies proposing a social organization of care based on democratic values both for the people who receive it and for those who provide it.