Our little mobile library has always lived in crisis. It was born in the tumultuous borderlands between Greece and Northern Macedonia in the summer of 2016. This year has brought another crisis – the coronavirus pandemic. But to survive, we need to confront the source of these crises.
Perhaps what’s most important is our shared commitment to the same ideals. We are diverse individuals coming together to support each other and our local communities. We find our comradeship not in a language or cultural background, but in recognition of our mutual need to work together.
As the summer comes to an end, there are lots of questions about what ‘back to school’ is going to look like for a lot of the world. For the children that use the ECHO library, this has been an uncertain question for much longer.
Whilst Greece has been in lockdown, we’ve been delivering meals to those stuck without them with the Athens Food Collective. How come it’s only the volunteer grassroots organisations that have been providing this support? What is mutual aid and why do people do it? And what pit-falls does our library fall into with the so-called charity industrial complex?