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Accepted Paper:

#LongCovid & Breathing Commons: Scientific, Speculative & Metaphysical Imaginations of More-than-Human Respiratory Futures  
Nasima Selim (University of Bayreuth)

Paper short abstract:

This paper argues for speculative and metaphysical imaginations in envisioning more-than-human respiratory futures as the "Breathing Commons" in the era of #LongCovid, drawing from the author's ethnographic-aesthetic engagements with pandemic realities across South Asia and Western Europe.

Paper long abstract:

"After the pandemic is before the pandemic" - is a slogan that does not represent the flight of apocalyptic imagination but the intimation of an everyday pandemic reality. The proposed paper seeks to address the following questions: What is the scientific imagination of (acute) Covid-19 obscuring? What could an expansive imagination of #LongCovid contribute? What kind of future orientations can we develop along the re/current novel pandemics and deal with their long-term biosocial consequences? In addition to the proliferating and productive natural, clinical and social scientific articulations of empirical realities, this paper argues for the significance of including speculative and metaphysical imagination, invoking more-than-human respiratory futures. One proposed intervention is the notion of the "Breathing Commons" needed to deal with the suffocating consequences of Covid-19. The "Breathing Commons" of #LongCovid is made of a fractal geometry of interconnected phenomena: the long durée of Covid-19, the recurrences, the variants of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2), its causative agentic power, and the persistent collective efforts to contain its breathing troubles. This paper draws from the author's ethnographic and aesthetic engagements with pandemic realities across South Asia and Western Europe in the company of the Sufi metaphysical imagination of breath and breathing well and the speculative imagination of science/fiction in pandemic times.

Panel P169a
Long Covid: Future Orientations for Novel Pandemics [Medical Anthropology Europe Network]
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -