CAREFUL ATTUNEMENTS: THE CHOREOGRAPHING OF CARE THROUGH SMARTPHONE PRACTICES DURING, AND AFTER, CRISIS
In this paper we explore how smartphone users in Victoria (Australia) used mobile and non-mobile media to find and manage information, emotions and networks during the 2019-2020 Australian summer bushfire crisis. Through arts-based methods that deployed drawing, critical reflection and group discussion, we sought to use techniques that elicit the emotional responses and motivations of our participants in and after the crisis. We draw on the concept of affective witnessing (Papailias, 2016; Richardson and Schankweiler, 2019) as a process whereby the boundaries between mourner and witness blur through the affective intensity of mobile media. We contextualise affective witnessing in terms of feminist materialism of care practices (Pols, 2012; Puig de la Bellacasa, 2011; Lupton and Hjorth, forthcoming) to focus on the importance of taking seriously care—care at a distance of family and friends, self-care and care of intimate digital publics.