Privilege, Precarity and the Epistemic and Political Challenge of COVID-19

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Kiran Grewal


Reflecting on the loss of my privilege as a transnational scholar during the London lockdown, in this essay I explore whether the COVID-19 pandemic may provide an important moment to return to questions of solidarity, resistance and progressive politics. Comparing my own experiences with those of people in my research fieldsite of Sri Lanka, I ask: do we have the necessary skills, tools and imagination to respond to this time of crisis? I suggest that the COVID-19 crisis has opened up possibilities of self-reflexivity that allow for the emergence of new epistemic and political practices that are not only more ethical but also more productive, radical and disruptive of the existing order.

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The Great Dis-Equalizer: the Covid-19 Crisis Special Issue (Essays)