5 – 6 Jul 2018

Why Care?

From care for the environment to care for the young and elderly, from mental health care to humanitarian care, from care understood as an obligation, as a gift, or as an affect, from the intimacy of care among loved ones, to the work of care giving in institutional settings, to the responsibility to care for those one does not know, the notion of ‘care’ encompasses a proliferating field of diverse relations. The question of care presents a central ethical and political challenge that is bound up with the increasing regulation and management of care relations by governmental institutions as well as its privatization, quantification, and commodification on the global market. As a result, certain kinds of care – for certain people, animals, things, or the environment – are dismissed or ignored in the name of ostensibly more urgent, more practical, and often more profitable concerns.

To ask Why care?  is to critically explore the massive mobilization of care in modern life. It is to interrogate the biopolitical ambivalences of the modern institutionalization of care as well as the prevailing economies and economics of care regarding what counts as care, the value of care, and its differential allocation. The question Why care?  also provides occasion to attend to alternative or ignored forms of care – and to reflect on how these might be made explicit by means of new forms of critique and intersectional analysis based on diverse alternative notions of community and interdependence. Rather than idealizing certain kinds of care, the symposium makes time for care as an affective and communal practice in our more than human worlds in which relations of inclusion and exclusion, empowerment and debilitation, autonomy and dependence, tenderness and terrorization are not only constituted but also contested.

The symposium seeks to better understand prevailing regimes of care and explore under-represented or unacknowledged practices of care in the past and present.19:30 Keynote

Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck, University of London)
On Time, Care and Not Moving On9:45 Morning Coffee

10:00-10:15 Introductions

10:15-11:45 Panel I – Waiting Times

Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck, University of London) and Laura Salisbury (University of Exeter): Depressing Time: Waiting, Melancholia, and the Psychoanalytic Practice of Care
Deborah Robinson (University of Plymouth, artist collaborator)
Raluca Soreanu (Birkbeck, University of London): Ferenczi’s Times: The Tangent, the Segment, and the Meandering Line
Martin Moore (University of Exeter): What did it mean to wait in the Early UK National Health Service?

11:45-12:15 Coffee Break

12:15-13:00 Panel II – Curating

Taraneh Fazeli (Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha): An Interview with Taraneh Fazeli
Magdalena Jadwiga Härtelova (Gallery of Academy of Fine Arts in Prague): Care ~ Curating

13:00-14:15 Lunch Break

14:15-15:45 Panel III – Careful Reading

John Hamilton (Harvard University):  Homo Curans
Kasia Mika (KITLV, Leiden): Rasanblaj: A Future Reassembled
Laura Salisbury (University of Exeter): Slow Modernism and Careful Reading
Benjamin Lewis Robinson (University of Vienna): Frivole: Why Care About Coetzee’s Slow Man?

15:45-16:15 Coffee Break

16:15-16:45 Intervention – Anton Kats

16:45-17:00 Coffee Break

17:00-18:30 Panel IV – Decolonial Healing

Daniela Agostinho (University of Copenhagen): Archival Encounters: Ethics of Care and Postcolonial Digital Archives
Kateřina Kolářová (Charles University, Prague): Post-socialism, Affective Politics of Abandonment and Racialised Chronicity
Vasuki Shanmuganathan (York University, Canada): Aging Colonizers, Cultural Care, and Race

18:45-19:30 Performance – The Battlefield Nurse by Jeremy Wade


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)


Taraneh Fazeli
John Hamilton
Anton Kats
Jeremy Wade

Organized by

Birkan Taş
Benjamin Lewis Robinson
An ICI Event in collaboration with the Waiting Times project of Birkbeck, University of London and the University of Exeter

In English

First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin
Cite as: Why Care?, symposium, ICI Berlin, 5–6 July 2018 <>