Updated: Jun 1, 2020
Friday May 22nd at 17:00 CET
For our next Tea2B, we have once again chosen a big and fuzzy topic:
„Community“. There are all kinds of communities, ranging from online
communities, to imagined communities, diasporic communities, village
communities, university communities, gated communities, and „the world
Perhaps especially now, as we are required to take phyiscal distance to each
other, some of us might re-consider what different communities may mean to
them. Some communities may break apart during this time, while others may
otherwise never have come into being.
We believe that to talk about community, requires us to begin from our lived and
intimate epxeriences, if we aren’t to drift away into theoretical speculations.
What does community mean to you? Which communities do you feel part of?
What kind of communities are you striving for? How do you find community in
this current time of loneliness and individuality?
We would love to reflect and share with you our thought and experiences of
community and perhaps think aloud together about the VIU community in these
Summary by Sebastian:
We started by sharing how our feelings of attachment and participation in communities has changed during the time of social distancing and realized, how community can mean a lot of different things. Actually, we are all part of many different networks, some more abstract and some very immediate. All of us in some ways experienced that we felt most connected to those people who we would physically be with and in most cases this was our families, even though we might not have spent time at home for a long time before that. What is it, that makes the physical so important?
After that we startes to discuss a little bit about community and its relation to personal freedom. Whilesome of us experinced communities as something that would reduce their freedom, others were wishing for a stronger community and saw it as a anarchical and important response to the commodification of human relations through capitalism. Also we extended our idea of community to more-than-human actors and reflected about the potentialities of realizing our environment as a form of community.
Also some of us shared their struggle of feeling pressured to participate in communities online while at the same time knowing, that communiy is so important especially in moments of struggling.
At then end we asked ourselves, what happened to the VIU community in this semester and realized, how it was especially the little, embodied "in-between"-things, that we were missing and that were so important for building a community... We missed the opportunity to be on a boat together, to drink and invite each other for coffee together and all the small surprises and improvisations that builduing social relations in the physical world requires and entails.
I think this is interesting. Normally we would think of the academic exchange and debates that takes place in classrooms Even though classes took place, the builduing of a community in this semester turned out to be really difficult. Some of us even thought, if the workload for courses had reduced the personal ressources and motivation for us to participate in the VIU community.
Realizing the importance of rituals for communities, in the end we shared our hopes, that the colsing ceremony would attract more members of the Spring 2020 communit yand that through this they would feel more part of te VIU community.