Solidarity provides the opportunity to transform models of extreme individualism into models of co-dependence. However, solidarity does not come without its challenges... The first challenge is the dark side of solidarity - when 'solidarity' serves as an internal binding force leading to nationalist or xenophobic communal thinking, which can lead to practices of exclusion and violence...
"The second challenge was blatantly exposed by the refugee crisis. According to an Italian political scientist, Massimo Livi Bacci, we are currently living in the era of homo movens, a man on the constant move. The refugee crisis highlighted the fundamental truth about the modern condition of individuals and communities, about ceaseless and intensifying movements of people, migration, the constant flow of persons. The mobility we dreamt of as citizens and which we are constantly trying to achieve represents the bright side of freedom and independence. However, the capacity to move as the foundation of our condition has been increasingly showing its darker face. Life insecurities, weakened local bonds, anxiety connected with the lack of communal experience based on understanding, empathy and everyday closeness is a step towards a deeper kind of darkness. How can you create a community, shape and develop solidarity within an everchanging cluster, where co-existence is always short lived, and bonds are temporary? Are the tools meant to impact the quality of relations in local communities relevant and sufficient? Is solidarity possible at all in the situation when we have enough time and attention only to interact with another subject, and not enough to forge a deeper, longer lasting relationship?
And last but not least, the third challenge is connected with the supranational space. The global structure of capitalism and political forces call for global forms of solidarity, i.e. for the ability to overcome language, cultural and geographic differences and inventing mobile practices of coexistence, superficially rooted in local contexts, however, equally efficient as those with much deeper roots.
It is essential that a new cultural paradigm is formed, focused around solidarity as a category organizing the collective imagination and impacting the shift in the quality of common life. This paradigm has to be based on “co-creation, co-responsibility, co-dependence, co-operation and co(m)-passion”. However, it also needs to find a proper formula suiting the challenges connected with the emergence of open communities with the capacity to build bridges between mobile individuals of different languages, cultures and geographies."
This excerpt is from a paper based on the action research carried out by an international group of researchers and artists across Europe in 2018 as part of the Culture for Solidarity project. You can now access the final version of this participatory-action-research in both English and Polish. Soon we will also publish the Spanish version.