IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Mutual aid disaster relief: consciousness-raising and radical pedagogy beyond social capital

01 February 2022, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Volunteers collecting humanitarian aid and packing donation boxes. Image by alfa27 / Adobe Stock

In this webinar, Rhiannon Firth will introduce some of the political theories underlying state policies and academic discourses which have both explicitly and implicitly attempted to repress, deradicalise and co-opt mutual aid movements.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Victoria Redclift

To register for this webinar, please email Jenny Woodman at j.woodman@ucl.ac.uk at least two days before the event to receive detailed joining instructions.

This talk draws on 7 years' research into mutual aid disaster relief and Rhiannon's forthcoming book (Pluto Press, forthcoming Spring 2022) - including interviews with activists involved with Occupy Sandy, which mobilised grassroots disaster relief after Hurricane Sandy in New York in 2012, and the more recent COVID-19 Mutual Aid groups in London.

The speaker will argue that mutual aid disaster relief movements offer more than a form of 'social capital' to plug gaps in a failing welfare state. Rather they should be understood forms of prefigurative politics, consciousness-raising and radical pedagogy that offer structural critique against and beyond the 'wicked problems' such as climate change, austerity, and inequality that give rise to the social consequences of 'natural' disasters.

This event will be particularly useful for those interested in public health and sociology of education.

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About the Speaker

Dr Rhiannon Firth

Lecturer in Sociology of Education at IOE

After completing her PhD at the University of Nottingham, Rhiannon was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Nottingham, and she has since established herself in the Sociology of Education.

More about Dr Rhiannon Firth