Publishing amidst the crisis – Antipode and Covid-19

To our readers, authors and referees,

Official advice regarding Covid-19 and suites of measures taken to deal with it, not to mention the coronavirus disease itself, is limiting capacity everywhere. Institutions of higher education and publishing companies are no exception. In response, Antipode’s Editorial Collective has been working to handle all papers as quickly as possible while being sensitive to the needs of individual referees, authors and publishers (and any referees or authors who need more time or cannot review/revise and re-submit at the moment should please just email our Managing Editor, Andy Kent: antipode@live.co.uk).

In one way or another we’re all coping with changing circumstances, so now is the time for understanding and accommodation – the time to practice care (of the self as well as others) and mutual aid, slowing down the production process as we focus our energies on social reproduction. Many of us are caring for elderly relatives as well as children who are at home indefinitely; we are students and teachers displaced and disoriented by a radically uncertain future; we are caring for neighbours, friends, and communities. Many of us are also finding that the current crisis demands immediate action to oppose the insane injustices surrounding state responses: from power grabs and mass lay-offs to corporate bailouts and the dire predicaments facing prisoners, immigrants and refugees, to the threat of “austerity reloaded” after a brief interlude of “crisis Keynesianism”. We consider all of these forms of labour to be fully aligned with the radical commitments of the Antipode community.

This said, we want to be clear that we remain open and committed to publishing the very best radical geographical research. Muddling through, keeping the good ship Antipode afloat, is more important now than ever. We’re mindful of the pressures exerted on early-career researchers and those precariously employed, and we’re acutely aware of the need for uncompromising critical thought amidst the unfolding conjunctural crisis, so we struggle on. Our moment lays bare issues that have been key concerns of this journal (globalised production, the primacy of continuous accumulation, biopolitics, state violence, socio-spatial inequalities based on class, gender, race, caste and citizenship, the privatisation of social provisioning, the politics of labour’s value, etc.). Much is uncertain right now. One thing we’re sure of is this: Antipode will serve as a venue for radical reflection, generative thinking, and transformative politics for the better days that we hope will come – future days that, far from returning to “business as usual”, might signal a more relational and egalitarian world order at whose core lies deep care for human and nonhuman others. As Arundhati Roy recently wrote:

Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality”, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. (Financial Times, 3 April 2020)

We do hope you understand and bear with us as we come to terms with the changing situation.

Very best wishes,

Marion Werner, Kiran Asher, Laura Barraclough, Dave Featherstone, Alex Loftus, Stefan Ouma and Andy Kent
The Antipode Editorial Collective