Like many academics with children at this time, I have found myself balancing full time work from home with childcare responsibilities. Whilst this has meant that I am not able to devote as much time as I would have liked to academic writing in the conventional sense, it has enabled me to spend a lot more time with my 4.5 year old than I would have normally done, opening up new ways of thinking, reflection and writing.
Here, I share with you ‘Conversations with Krishna in Pandemic Times’, in which I have attempted to chronicle the conversations my 4.5 year old has been having over the last couple of months. His musings about the virus, social distancing, Gandhi, Rosa Parks, racial discrimination, feminism (yes, I suspect he will have learnt more about feminism and resistance than basic numbers and alphabets by the time the lockdown is over!), death and the fear of losing loved ones offer an insight into how he is coping with the changes taking place in the world around him.
I hope that these conversations not only resonate with you and bring a smile to your face as they have done to mine but that they also contribute in some small way to the much needed public debate on how our children are growing up in the time of COVID-19, what support and care we must provide them, and what radical solidarity parents and teachers can offer each other in the process.
Radhika Govinda, Ph.D., is a feminist sociologist who works on gender politics of development, intersectionality and feminist knowledge production. She is a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Her articles have appeared in Gender, Place and Culture, Modern Asian Studies, SAMAJ, Contemporary South Asia and Gender and Development. She is lead editor of Doing Feminisms in the Academy in India and the UK (Zubaan, forthcoming 2020) and is currently working on a monograph titled Intersectionality, Feminist Politics and Knowledge Production. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GovindaRadhika