Date of Award
Honors Thesis (Open Access)
Colby College. Anthropology Dept.
Professor Winifred L. Tate
Professor Catherine L. Besteman
Climate activist groups in Maine often see their members become too tired to continue organizing. Thus, I decided to explore how these activists enact community care. I conducted my fieldwork with 350 Maine and its local nodes. I explore community care as a practice and as an aspiration. Community care is practiced through the acts of people taking care of each other. Aspiration, therefore, is a way of living and seeing the self as striving to replicate the world activists are fighting for. I conceptualize care as racialized, gendered, classed, and embedded in neoliberal capitalism. In activist meetings, care is visible in 'caring practices' which are based on 'prerequisites of care.' These prerequisites of care are fulfilled thorough activists’ participation in the 'getting-to-know practices.' Together, I consider the caring practices and the getting-to-know practices 'practices of care.' I believe that these practices of care have to be marked as such in order for people to become caring selves. Similarly, public events contribute to the possibility of community care in activist meetings through creating collective identity. Participation in public events facilitates associating the collective identity with cultural materials. Later, such cultural materials can be used to recreate specific aspects of collective identity in meeting spaces. In conclusion, community care can be revolutionary in that it can transform activists through aspiring to care and thus encourage the development of caring selves. An aspiration can never be perfect, neither can care.
Climate activism, Care, Maine, practices of care, activist meetings, public events
Recommended CitationTopolarova, Ester, "Dear Reader, How Do We Go On? Letters of Reflection on Community Care in Climate Activism in Maine" (2017). Honors Theses. Paper 885.