Pandemic reflections on the Care and Control exhibition: refusals, contracts and publics

Maud Perrier, Alice Tatton Brown, Junko Yamashita*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article presents reflections on our pre-Covid-19 exhibition Care and Control, and our interdisciplinary collaboration between artist Alice Tatton Brown and social scientists Maud Perrier and Junko Yamashita. The reflections expand current feminist debates about self-care and collective care by centring the importance of public space, refusals and contracts. Care and Control was designed as both an exhibition and a meeting place, created through our ongoing collaboration. It took place in a shopping centre in Bristol (UK) in June 2019. The exhibition was a collage of feminist archival objects and print, contemporary installation and community engagement. Care and Control began broadly as an experiment to seek out alternatives to an individualist approach to self-care, by researching how Women's Liberation Activists practised self-care and collective care beyond the household, and within protest, friendship and public space. In this article, we make a methodological contribution to feminist discussions of collective care by showing how our strategy of a) making a public exhibition and b) writing a Contract of Care is a significant technique for enacting some of the promise of Audre Lorde’s ‘self-care as warfare’. We show how Care and Control, drawing from the legacy of the Women's Liberation Movement, generated resources for countering definitions of self-care that predominate. Reflecting on how the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated classed, racialised and gendered divisions in reproductive labour, our article suggests that self-care and collective care need to be conceptualised drawing on social reproduction.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFeminist Theory
Early online date7 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Brigstow Institute (University of Bristol) who funded ‘Experiments in Collective Care’, the project which led to the creation of the Care and Control exhibition.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


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