We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit

– Audre Lorde

We would like to invite you to the Pirate Care reading group, a series of meetings organised by Valeria GrazianoMarcell Mars and Tomislav Medak, as part of Dopolavoro flagship of the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project. These meetings will be an opportunity to collectively discuss issues and texts related to practices of pirate care

The Pirate Care Reading Groups will meet at Youth Cultural Centre Palach (Kružna 8 Street, Rijeka), and the sessions will last for 2 hours.The materials we will read together are either written in the context of these practices or that are important resources for practitioners to understand their acts of solidarity, civil disobedience or self-care
Newcomers and drop-ins are welcome to join at any point. No booking is required and no previous knowledge is necessary. Most texts will be in English and they will be made available in advance of our meetings. Read them if you can, but equally, do come along even if you haven’t had the chance, as we will read some extracts together at each meeting. We will also annotate the texts experimenting with a collaborative tool. The reading group will be a safe space for asking questions and reflecting on ideas. Some light refreshments will be provided.

For our meeting on Tuesday, 17th September from 7 pm we will read from Joan Tronto’s “Who cares? How to reshape a democratic politics”
For our meeting on Wednesday, 9th October from 7 pm we will read from Oscar Wilde’s “In Praise of Disobedience”


Pirate Care denotes two opposing processes that are particularly visible at present. On the one hand, basic care provisions that were previously considered cornerstones of social life are now being pushed towards illegality, as a consequence of the marketisation of social services and the rise of neo-conservativism. At the same time, in opposition to this drive toward illegality and the erosion of welfare and common resources, new, technologically-enabled collective practices of care are emerging to disobediently provide in solidarity that which is denied to those who critically need support in societies and outside of them.

The last century has accustomed us to consider care and technology as opposites. We were told that care is about affectivity and empathy, while technology is cold and rational. And yet, as Annemarie Mol (2015) pointed out, all care practices use technological tools. Rather than imagining care as an innate faculty, therefore, we see it as a set of techniques and skills acquired in relation to the tools at our disposal.

In order to explore pirate care, we depart from the famous definition of the ethics of care of Joan Tronto (1993) : care is everything that is done to maintain, continue, and re-pair ‘the world’ so that all can live in it as well as possible. We then intersect this definition with the general principles of hacker ethics, which as McKenzie Wark (2004) summarised, include sharing, openness, invention, re-appropriation, decentralization, free access to knowledge and tools, in an effort of offering an affirmative critique of harmful power structures supported by dysfunctional bureaucracies.

Find out more about the project at https://pirate.care


Valeria Graziano works as a research fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Coventry University. She is a member of the Postoffice Research Group and of the Network for Institutional Analysis (UK). Her research looks at the organization of cultural practices that foster the refusal to work and the possibility of political pleasure.Recently, she co-editor of ‘Repair Matters’, a special issue of ephemera: theory & politics in organisation (May 2019) and co-authored with Marcell Mars and Tomislav Medak ‘Learning from #Syllabus’ (in: State Machines, Institute of Network Cultures, 2019) https://hcommons.org/members/valerix/

Marcell Mars is a research fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures. Mars is one of the founders of Multimedia Institute/MAMA in Zagreb. His research Ruling Class Studies, started at the Jan van Eyck Academy (2011), examines state-of-the-art digital innovation, adaptation, and intelligence created by corporations such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and eBay. He is a doctoral student at Digital Cultures Research Lab at Leuphana University, writing a thesis on Foreshadowed Libraries. Together with Tomislav Medak he founded Memory of the World/Public Library, for which he develops and maintains software infrastructure.

Tomislav Medak is a doctoral student at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures. Medak is a member of the theory and publishing team of the Multimedia Institute/MAMA in Zagreb, as well as an amateur librarian for the Memory of the World/Public Library project. His research focuses on technologies, capitalist development, and postcapitalist transition, particularly on economies of intellectual property and unevenness of technoscience. He authored two short volumes: The Hard Matter of Abstraction—A Guidebook to Domination by Abstraction and Shit Tech for A Shitty World. Together with Marcell Mars he co-edited ‘Public Library’ and ‘Guerrilla Open Access’. https://tom.medak.click


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