Shifting perspectives is a response of GAIA’s volunteers to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As an environmental and peace building association, we could not postpone our activities and only wait for this crisis to end. Most of the world is facing social distancing measures but yet we are witnessing a real collective desire to exchange, to communicate. Thousands of spontaneous acts have proven that solidarity is expressed. But how can people unite when many of us are confined to our homes? Social networks were the solution. We cannot physically bring people together anymore, let’s do it virtually. Shifting perspectives is a series of short videos to think out the box.
This worldwide crisis highlights the challenges we already face and to which we will no longer be able to provide alternatives if we do not operate a collective change of our way of life. The luckiest half of the planet opens its eyes to the issue of access to food and services. In the capitalist development model, production and consumption are no longer territorialized and our degree of food dependency makes us hardly able to prevent such events. The current situation may raise consciousness about the unsustainability of the system, especially in terms of exploitation and access to resources. Furthermore, these challenges are not experienced in the same way all over the world. The pandemic reveals the huge inequalities in living conditions to protect against the spread of the virus and inequalities to access to care. But this episode of crisis shows that we are dependent on each other and these spontaneous behaviors we mentioned confirm that we do not want to get through the situation on our own. To a collective problem, we must bring a collective response.
This pandemic is part of a multidimensional crisis of capitalism. Considering it as a challenge, the question is how can we respond to this? In GAIA, we chose to consider the situation as an opportunity to seize to spread reflections and try to make a change.
Little attention has been paid to climate change alerts for years but the reactions to the health crisis were immediate. However the measures undertaken bring the signs of ecological change and slow down the economic activity. It is a time to reflect on our development model and to think about the future we want to build. Realizing that things are not sustainable and can stop overnight should be a motivation to do our best.
Shifting perspectives is not a solution to the world’s problems, but a way to share things and thoughts that matter. It is a way to make people more curious and to show that a collective change can operate by questioning ourselves and observing around. Today, we all have to adapt our behavior to the circumstances. But adaptation does not mean resignation. It is also a transformation, an invention, an experimentation. The situation changes our window of opportunities, let’s use it as a possibility to shift our life’s perspectives.
Shifting Perspectives is a small response of local and international volunteers (French Service Civique and European Solidarity Corps) to the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.