Volume 2: "Resilience in the Face of COVID-19"

Volume 2: "Resilience in the Face of COVID-19"


The viral infection that is coronavirus disease (COVID-19) brought a myriad of challenges for the world’s population. People previously wrote stories about a disease outbreak that would turn the world on its head. We saw the first versions with HIV, SARS and H1N1 but the last two years brought a lot of the fiction to life. Everyday life was changed for people in all parts of the world whether directly through loss of lives and loved ones or indirectly through the economic costs that spread far and wide.

In the face of the pandemic, countries closed borders and nationalism was rife. Vaccine apartheid and the dominance of pharmaceutical companies meant that access to vaccines was out of reach for many people. At a national level, governments made decisions about lock-downs and restrictions that led to livelihoods of ordinary people being threatened. Whilst some countries offered aid and support to their citizens, COVID-19 showed us how limited this was and continues to be. AlternativesAre activities and initiatives, concepts, worldviews, or action proposals by collectives, groups, organizations, communities, or social movements challenging and replacing the dominant system that perpetuates inequality, exploitation, and unsustainabiity. In the GTA we focus primarily on what we call "radical or transformative alternatives", which we define as initiatives that are attempting to break with the dominant system and take paths towards direct and radical forms of political and economic democracy, localised self-reliance, social justice and equity, cultural and knowledge diversity, and ecological resilience. Their locus is neither the State nor the capitalist economy. They are advancing in the process of dismantling most forms of hierarchies, assuming the principles of sufficiency, autonomy, non-violence, justice and equality, solidarity, and the caring of life and the Earth. They do this in an integral way, not limited to a single aspect of life. Although such initiatives may have some kind of link with capitalist markets and the State, they prioritize their autonomy to avoid significant dependency on them and tend to reduce, as much as possible, any relationship with them. coming from the grassroots has been critical to helping people through the hardship brought on by the pandemic. Some of these alternatives were established before the pandemic whilst others came about as a result of the pandemic. In all cases, pandemic solidarity has shown us the resilience that exists in our communities and the importance of local agency, capacity and knowledge in times of crisis.

This is the second volume of a collection of various narratives from around the world based on collaborative writing. Together with the first volume, they provide us multifaceted expressions of resistance to dominant forms of oppression—to defend local ways of life, strengthen local autonomy, and reconstruct societies. These examples show that COVID-19 and the problems it has highlighted in society (all of which have been around for much longer, of course, but are more sharply visible now) have solutions—already demonstrated by communities, initiatives and civil society. They give important lessons and pathways for just, equitable, and ecologically resilient futures.

In the brief presentation of the resilience cases that follow, the Global TapestryThe weaving of networks of Alternatives of Alternatives has tried to highlight how alternatives that focus on solidarity, care, sustainable living, connection between culture and nature, and sovereignty can allow people to survive and thrive during crises. We share these stories as a way to learn from each other but also to promote solidarity networks and strategic alliances amongst all these alternatives on local, regional and global levels.

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Alternatives coming from the grassroots has been critical to helping people through the hardship brought on by the pandemic.


This document has been coordinated and put together by Vasna Ramasar, Andrew Zoll, Charlotte Estey, Linnea Kronebrant and Viviane Straub with inputs from GTAGlobal Tapestry of Alternatives core team members Ashish Kothari, Lina Alvarez, Shristhee Bajpai, Franco Augusto and Urvi Shah.

How to cite

Global Tapestry of Alternatives (2022). "Resilience in the face of COVID-19". Weaving Solidarity and Hope: Beyond Pandemics and Lockdowns – Volume 2. Available at: https://globaltapestryofalternatives.org/reports:pandemic:02