The Higher School of Education and Social Sciences of the Polytechnic of Leiria and CICS.NOVA.IPLeiria invite intercultural mediators, teachers, health professionals, educators, researchers, social, education and sport scientists, social educators, social workers, animators and other social intervenors, to discuss Living, Coexistence and Survival in a Pandemic Context: accounts and experiencies.
The new coronavirus, designated SARS-CoV-2, was first identified in the city of Wuhan, China, in December 2019. This new agent, which has never before been identified in humans, rapidly crossed physical and social boundaries and settled in all territories, peoples and nations.
As the different countries are affected by the disease, confinements are repeated in order to avoid physical contacts and infections.
Concepts such as “contingency plan”, “ventilator”, “swab”, “lockdown”, “quarantine”, “asymptomatic”, “R indicator” or “outbreak” have become part of the daily lexicon of institutions and their professionals. Social work institutions are forced to readapt their mediation and social intervention practices to cope with the unpredictability of a deadly and still little studied virus.
Never has the risk society been so much on the agenda. If risk is a state between destruction and security, the perception of risk undoubtedly conditions thought and action (Beck, 1999). In the space of a year, it has transformed the imperative physical distancing into an (also) social distancing, placing individuals, groups and societies close to “total institutionalisation” (Goffman, 1974).
Although technological advances and new technologies allow for new and rapid forms of communication, they do not allow us to recover the touch, the hug, the kiss, the human warmth. Technologically advanced forms of communication, but which do not avoid affectively more distant societies. It is necessary to reinvent forms of work, of interaction and intervention. New mediations are urgently needed for a world in permanent change. New tools are indispensable for an understanding at personal, community, social and political level, where the transforming and humanizing role of mediation can take the central place of a new more humanizing culture (Torremorell, 2008).
Basically, the pandemic context alters experience(s) that translate into new forms of coexistence(s) that, at the limit, also imply survival strategies, as we want to listen (listen with the heart), understand, discuss, deepen, debate, share and systematize in the 9th conference on Intercultural Mediation and Social Intervention, on 26 and 27 November 2021.
Beck, U. (1999). World Risk Society, Londres: Sage.
Goffman, E. (1974). Manicômios, prisões e conventos, São Paulo: Perspectiva.
Torremorell, M. (2008). cultura de mediação e mudança social, Porto: Porto Editora.