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Build Back Freer? Anarchist Architecture As Post-Pandemic Model

Imagine self-organized forms of building, from remodeling existing structures to building entirely new spaces to accommodate individual liberty and radical change in social organization. It's a movement whose time may be coming.

Build Back Freer? Anarchist Architecture As Post-Pandemic Model

Anarchism has inspired countless alternative communities

Paul Dobraszczyk

Architecture and anarchy may not seem like the most obvious pairing. But since anarchism emerged as a distinct kind of politics in the second half of the 19th-century, it has inspired countless alternative communities.

Christiania in Copenhagen, Slab City in the California desert, La ZAD in the French countryside, and Grow Heathrow in London all feature self-organized forms of building. On the one hand, this includes remodelling existing structures, usually abandoned buildings. On the other, it can mean building entirely new spaces to accommodate individual liberty and radical change in social organization.

At its heart, anarchism is a politics of thought and action. And it reflects the original meaning of the ancient Greek word anarkhi meaning “the absence of government”. All forms of anarchism are founded on self-organization or government from below. Often stemming from a place of radical scepticism of unaccountable authorities, anarchism favours bottom-up self-organization over hierarchy. It is not about disorder, but rather a different order – based on the principles of autonomy, voluntary association, self-organization, mutual aid and direct democracy.

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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