Home Safe? Porosity Precarity, Borders: An Australian Crisis Diary





KeyworClimate change, COVID-19, crisis, porosity, borders, care


The porosity of our bodies and our planet are palpable in the conjoint crises of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Our shared atmosphere is increasingly toxic for all life with greenhouse gas emissions causing global heating, the rising and acidification of the ocean and the increased frequency and severity of what are no longer ‘natural’ disasters. COVID-19, a novel coronavirus which in late 2019 crossed the porous border of non-human and human life has spread rapidly between permeable human bodies through touch and breath, and animated inanimate surfaces with its fatal potential. Both crises have occasioned resort to borders. But what is ‘home’: the household, the nation, the planet? And is it safe? Asking these questions exposes the fault lines of late capitalism – with tectonic shifts and widening inequalities on the basis of gender, race and class. This essay explores these questions through personal vignettes and analyses of the twin crises, from the perspective of Australia.

Author Biography

Margaret Jolly, The Australian National University

Emerita Professor School of Culture, History and Language College of Asia and the Pacific ANU Canberra ACT 2600 Australia




How to Cite

Jolly, M. (2022). Home Safe? Porosity Precarity, Borders: An Australian Crisis Diary. Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 18(2). https://doi.org/10.11157/sites-id498