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Lifehouse: Taking Care of Ourselves in a World on Fire (Paperback)

Lifehouse: Taking Care of Ourselves in a World on Fire By Adam Greenfield Cover Image
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3 on hand, as of Jul 13 8:35pm


A manifesto and guide for building mutual aid groups and reclaiming power in a time of perpetual crisis

We are living through a Long Emergency: a near-continuous train of pandemics, heatwaves, droughts, resource wars and other climate-driven disasters. In Lifehouse, Adam Greenfield asks what might happen if the tactics and networks of care that spring up in response to these times might be brought together in a single, coherent way of life?

Using examples from the Black Panthers’ “survival programs,” the astonishingly effective Occupy Sandy disaster-relief effort and the neighborhood-based mutual aid groups that sustained many during COVID lockdowns to the large-scale, self-organised polities of municipalist Spain and Kurdish Rojava, Greenfield argues for rethinking local power as a bulwark against despair — a way to discover and develop the individual and collective capacities that have gone underutilized during all the long years of late capitalism, and a means for thriving in the face of impending catastrophe.

About the Author

Adam Greenfield has spent the past quarter-century thinking and working at the place where technology, design and politics intersect with everyday urban life. Formerly Senior Urban Fellow at the LSE Cities research center of the London School of Economics, and an instructor in urban design at both New York University and the Bartlett, University College London, his books include the best-selling Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life (2017), Against the Smart City (2013) and Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing (2006).

Praise For…

"Mixing clear-eyed, unwavering analysis with deep compassion, Lifehouse offers something much more sustaining than hope: traction"
—Jenny Odell, author of Saving Time

"When three emergencies -- climate, political and social - build together into the storm of our present we need to start thinking from the ground-up. In this we have no better guide than AG. Lifehouse constructs a much needed, hands-on strategy for urban care. Read it and start planning."
—Eyal Weizman, author of Hollowland

"A succinct, unflinching assessment of the urgent conditions unfolding around us, and a nuanced, practical analysis of why and how we must take up immediate, local, collective direct action."
—Dean Spade, author of Mutual Aid

"Anyone interested in collective survival will benefit from Greenfield's examinations of episodes of transformative communal care from New Orleans and NYC, Rojava, municipalist Spain, Greek solidarity clinics, and the Black Panthers' survival programs. That he then knots the threads of permanent disaster and local response into a clear-eyed proposal for enduring networks of mutual support networks is something like hope-in-action-refreshing, provocative, and within our reach.'"
—Erin Kissane, co-founder of the COVID Tracking Project

"Knowing we can't rely upon governments, corporations or elites to protect us from the ongoing disasters we now face, above all climate change, Adam Greenfeld movingly celebrates the grass-roots mutual aid and caring collectivities that have sustained people through past calamities. Aware that such self-organised, compassionate caring is more needed than ever today, Greenfield's vivid, erudite and persuasive prose outlines the many ways in which people can, and for their own survival must, work together confronting the challenging goal of creating local autonomous communities, or Lifehouses, now necessary for enduring the storms ahead. An inspiring text in pessimistic times."
—Lynne Segal, author of Lean on Me: A Radical Politics of Care

Product Details
ISBN: 9781788738354
ISBN-10: 1788738357
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: July 9th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English

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