Dr. Heath Cabot

February 2, 2016 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm


Dr. Heath Cabot

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, College of the Atlantic

'Contagious Solidarity': Reconfiguring Care and Citizenship in Athens’ 'Social Clinics'

Tuesday, February 2, 2016, at 1:00pm in the Anthropology Lounge, 3106 WWPH


The economic fall-out from the Greek debt crisis, and austerity measures targeting the welfare state, have led to the steady precaritization of citizenship, rights, and services in Greece. Growing numbers of Greeks and migrants alike struggle to sustain livable lives. A vibrant “solidarity movement” has emerged, responding to the needs of neighbors and communities at the local, extra-state level by recirculating foodstuffs, clothing, and medical care. This talk will focus on “social solidarity” clinics and pharmacies, which run on models of donation and redistribution of leftover medicines and medical care. These clinics seek to respond to the growing "contagion," so to speak, of the healthcare crisis in Greece with what they describe as "contagious" solidarity. In addition to these material and somatic economies of pharmaceuticals and care, moral-ethical discourses regarding the body politic also permeate the clinics. Solidarity is characterized as the “other face” of crisis, and many ascribe it with healing properties for how it has made group participation and social action central to ideas of citizenship in Greece. And yet, even as research participants highlight the possibilities of solidarity, they reflect ambivalently and critically on their work, exposing solidarity’s entanglement in both austerity politics and neoliberal subjectivity. Solidarity is not merely a potentially emancipatory project, but is grounded on an imperative to respond to the needs of citizens and “others” within intolerable systems.

Location and Address

Anthropology Lounge - 3106 WWP