Who Cares? creates a framework for thinking about Care as an essential condition for maintaining human and non-human life. In the course of our lives, all of us encounter Care in one way or another. We are reliant on it as newborns, when we are sick or at the end of our lives. Most of us care, feel care, and are cared for. To recognize that no single person can survive without other people´s Care is also to acknowledge our own vulnerability and interdependency.

Care is present in each action that has to be performed in order to maintain and repair our world, so that we can live in it as well as possible. It means caring not only for our own bodies and minds but also for our environment. Whether we are aware of it or not, all human and non-human beings are intertwined in an existence-sustaining web that needs Caring for life to continue. But Care is seldom reciprocal because each giving is not followed by equal taking. Therefore, it challenges the usual understanding of justice.

What makes care so special is that it is an important bond for human beings. However, it is indeed problematic to automatically associate Care with love or even with a pleasant affection. Caring is not neutral; it involves work and, most of the time, also power relations. The labor needed to sustain interdependent worlds is often based on exploitation. In fact, Care work is the most important condition for a capitalist economy: only because other people or nature undertake reproductive tasks for free or in precarious relationships, can the market economy grow constantly. Consequently, caring for something means also to neglect, silence or even erase other relationships. So it is crucial to question what is being maintained at the expense of whom.

Artists, architects and activists were invited to reflect on Care in relation to work, private sphere/intimacy, nature or neighborhood. By refusing to focus on only one aspect, the festival intends to highlight unsolved tensions, exploring different dimensions of care. Who Cares? encourages the celebration of the richness of the Care paradigm, whilst at the same time embracing its ambivalent character. Care has the potential to foster more engagement and solidarity within the relationships we establish. Who Cares? aims to create awareness of the implications of Caring, eventually inspiring new ways of relating with human and non-human beings.



Curator: Valeria Schwarz
Curatorial advice: Studio IN Carla Isern
Exhibition design: Studio IN Carla Isern
Assistance: Katja Volkenant and Lorène Blanche Goesele
Graphik design: Farina Krause with Studio IN
Website: Betiana Bellofatto
Proofreading: Emily Hawkins and Joachim Peerenboom
Documentation: Carman Ho (video), Patricia Escriche (photo)