CARE Covid19 Lecture 5: Migrant Health Crisis During Covid-19 & Communication Equality

Prof. Mohan. J. Dutta, Jolovan Wham and Kokila Annamalai will unpack the communicative gaps and inequalities migrant workers experienced during the covid-19 pandemic, and the systematic mechanisms to silence workers that underpin these inequalities. Undertaking an analysis of dominant state narratives and counternarratives that have characterised public discourse around the pandemic, they will reflect on how workers’ voices can be co-opted by both.

They will also look at how the space for workers’ voices is and can be expanded through allyship, art, creative resistance and courage. The possibilities for involving workers in decision-making, community care, information sharing and other valuable roles, whether during the pandemic or rebuilding after it, will be imagined by drawing from efforts that workers, activists and NGOs have taken in this direction.

The work of NGOs, charities, activists and others in civil society has also come under focus in this period. Civil society is being relied upon greatly in getting us through this crisis, and as actors in this space, the speakers will reflexively examine how notions of altruism, generosity and protection may complicate and undermine workers’ agency, rights and dignity. The character of civil society in Singapore is particular to its authoritarian context, which makes the ethics of solidarity and resistance uncomfortable for many actors, but pertinent nevertheless. The speakers will share their perspectives on what the work of building solidarity with workers and activists looks like.

About CARE COVID19 Lecture Series:
In this lecture series, we will cover the various aspects of health communication within the context of the COVID19 pandemic. From strategies of risk communication, to community organizing, to systems of governance, to processes of structural transformation, we will explore the ways in which communication is constituted by the crisis and in turn, constitutes the crisis. Anchored in the key tenets of the culture-centered approach (CCA), the series will draw on lectures, conversations, and workshops with community organizers, activists, academics, and policy makers across the globe.

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