Reconfigurations of care in austerity-burdened Athens
My project explores the care practices of social clinics and medicine banks in Greece and looks at of the role of pharmaceuticals in both the voluntary health care sector and domestic practices of care. It thus unravels the relationship between welfare, provided by the state, and care, provided by voluntary work and the family. I ethnographically explore this relationship by charting the historical trajectories and socio-economic conditions which allowed the emergence of social clinics of solidarity while focusing on the informal circuit of pharmaceutical provision provided by these grassroots medical facilities. The project intends to document the emergence of new forms of social and community care in times of socio-economic rapid changes and describe local people’s growing reliance on pharmaceuticals. While accounting for their expectations and imaginations for better health care, the project uncovers the new health hazards, risks of addiction and chronicity that the excessive pharmaceuticalisation of care can entail. Ultimately, the project provides insights into historically shifting ideas and culturally specific views about the suffering body, the character of sociality and kinship, the crisis of statecraft project and imaginations of care.