With everything that’s going on in the world, we felt it was only right to put out a resource list for our community. This resource list is for our community to learn more about what is going on, and to engage in tangible actions, that help the impacted communities. The team at Green Is The New Black stands in solidarity with marginalised and oppressed communities.
These crises are liberation struggles and the climate crisis playing out in real-time. However, some of these are crises years, decades in the making. Meaning to say, as Slow Factory said too: what’s happening is “complex, nuanced, and devastating: We encourage our community to take time to explore this list of resources.” It isn’t possible to condense what’s happening into easily digestible slides. Nor would it be right, considering the positionality of the team here at Green Is The New Black, to be speaking on behalf of these communities. We would also not be able to do these issues and crises justice. It is not within our capacity to understand everything. That being said, we are taking the time to process and understand what is happening. And we would like to invite our community to do the same.
An invitation to do the work
We also want to urge you (if you, like much of our team, come from a place of relative privilege, at least enough to turn away from these crises and not have family, friends, or kin, affected by these crises) to reframe how you think about these crises. We urge you to acknowledge the privilege you have. And work towards building greater capacity to do more. We are doing the same.
This is not an invitation to burn out by getting involved with everything, immediately, as much as you can. Rather, it is an invitation to acknowledge how much power we have to change the system. Wherever we are, there are things we can do. We’ve listed tangible actions below. But beyond that, as privileged folks, or perhaps people inhabiting more privileged parts of the world, we have to acknowledge our agency. The crises that are happening around the world, in many ways, are manifestations of deeper, systemic problems. Some underlying forces include neocolonialism, imperialism, racism, capitalism, and more. These are structures that play out not just in the countries affected right now, but also right in our backyards.
We urge our community to do the work of, firstly, identifying how these structures exist around us. And secondly, how we can be more accountable and identify these forces within ourselves too. This is the work that is less tangible, but helpful. It is also the work that will help us sustain our allyship in the long term. Which is, ultimately, one of the goals.
A note on trauma porn
The tendency, in these times, is to reshare images of marginalised and oppressed communities suffering. While it is absolutely valid for these communities themselves to be sharing them, we urge our community to be more mindful of re-sharing. As Dr. Ifrah Magan points out: “there is a big difference between raising awareness and the commodification of human suffering.” Is there a need to shock your followers, friends, family, etc., into caring? Can we normalise caring about these crises without needing to see these traumatic images and videos? If all you’re doing is sharing these images and videos, without doing anything else, is it necessary, and helpful?
We ask these questions not out of a desire to guilt-trip. We ourselves are exploring these questions too, and thinking about ways, as a media platform, to engage with these forms of media in more ethical, healthy ways.
Céline Semaan from the Slow Factory consistently talks about Lebanon on her profile. The Slow Factory organised a fundraiser, but it has since closed. To learn more about what’s going on in Lebanon here’s a thread of threads on Twitter, and here’s a carrd made by a Lebanese person. What’s happening in Lebanon is not a war. But the main ways in which you can contribute are: material resources to trusted organisations and people on the ground, continuing to learn and talk about Lebanon, and supporting the Lebanese disapora (join the Slow Factory’s Beirut Symposium at the end of the month here).
Here’s a short description of what’s happening in Haiti from Paola Mathé, along with a bit of historical context from Atmos. In short, the country didn’t recover from the major earthquake in 2010, and further to that, foreign intervention has destabilised the country, worsening the situation.
Amidst sharing resources to help (see this list of actions from Mathé and Facebook post reshared by the Slow Factory), activists have been highlighting that the narrative of Haiti being “cursed”, or “not being able to catch a break”, takes the blame away from very real destabilising forces that have entered the country. Activists have also pointed out that sending money directly to Haiti is the best thing you can do now. It’s worth spending some time reading up on how the US Red Cross failed with its relief efforts back in 2010, and about why supporting Haitian first responders is better than international organisations—information about these can be found here.
There are many resources explaining what’s happening in Afghanistan going around. So far, here is one comprehensive explanation. Here is a piece of writing from Hawa Arsala about her country, and a compiled list of resources on what you can do, along with various information resources. Other tangible actions can be found here, along with a Twitter thread of what you should do and should avoid, and another one here. Notably, those with airline miles can look to donating them, and those who are business owners can start employing refugees for remote work.
What’s important to note too with regard to the situation in Afghanistan is the prevalence of Western narratives around Afghanistan and US intervention. For more nuanced perspectives, see these Instagram posts from Madina Wardak and @socialstudies4socialj.
A note on other ongoing crises
Crises are ongoing, all the time. Many of them fall out of the news cycle, but these crises still require attention. We urge our community to take the time to continue reading about Palestine and following what’s happening in Palestine. We urge our community too, to keep your eyes on the ongoing struggles of the Myanmar people. Protests are ongoing, and help is still needed: a resource list can be found here.
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