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This panel is part of the Uptown People’s Assembly: Facing the Raging Pandemic host by the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University. For twelve running hours, this assembly brings together artists working in all disciplines, arts professionals, and scholars to moderate a durational event of art, testimony and conversation with a focus on our current compounding crises: the coronavirus and the civil unrest decrying the racist killings of Black people by police officers. Both community members and the general public are invited to speak and participate in this event. More information and registration HERE.
Speaking of Worlds Without Police, an improptu panel of Care for the Polis, will give an overview of the series and of the arguments it has so far offered on the promises and injustices of health and so-called public systems, and the contentious but also possibly emancipatory power of the notion of care. Our presentation will lay out one the main premise of the series in its current form, namely, on the value of humanistic thinking to generate ideas amidst the urgency of the times—as in the current collision of a health crisis, the foreclosure of the public sphere, and the emergence of a social movement that calls forth systemic changes to the way we police, think about, care for, and design our polis. To unleash such new imagination, we will hear from our guest moderator Professor Amy Chazkel on her writing on “Worlds Without Police,” from the recently edited special issue of Radical History Review on "Policing, Justice, and the Radical Imagination.” Following, we will open up a discussion for audience members to share experiences and spaces of care that fall outside of institutional frameworks of policing and care—from autonomous urban enclaves and caregiving by the stoop to secret-sharing around kitchen tables—a prompt to together reflect on what past and current worlds without police look like and how we can imagine such worlds shaping a more just and healthier future.