New paper published!
Although the intensification of direct and indirect gendered violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic has been extensively reported globally, there is limited research on women’s responses to it. Addressing calls to explore the relationships between emotional-affective atmospheres and politics during the pandemic as well as to centre analyses of gendered violence within geography, this paper explores how women in the favelas of Maré, in Rio de Janeiro have developed mutual support, (self)-care and activism in the face of the crisis. Engaging with nascent debates on responses to COVID-19, together with feminist geographical work on resistance to gendered violence, the article adapts the notion of ‘emotional communities’ developed by Colombian anthropologist, Myriam Jimeno, to examine how emotional bonds created among survivors of violence are reconfigured into political action. Drawing on qualitative research with 32 women residents and 9 community actors involved in two core community initiatives in Maré, the paper develops the idea of building reactive and transformative ‘emotional-political communities’ at individual and collective levels to mitigate gendered violence and wider intersectional structural violence. Emotional-political community building is premised on grassroots activism among women and organisations that develops as part of compassionate (self)-care and the quiet rather than spectacular politics of change.