THE VIRAL CONDITION: Vaccines, Public Health, and Infrastructures of Inequality

Recording of the panel debate

28 May 2021

The relentless presence of Covid-19 continues to define the contemporary global. A year on, lockdowns, restrictions, no-travel warnings, self-isolation, and social bubbles have become a part of everyday life. Far from subsiding, the virus rages on in ever new-mutant forms, each threatening to undo the previous gains to contain it. This stubborn presence of the virus has revealed the structural inequalities that continue to thwart the battle against a global pandemic. If unequal access to vaccines is one part of this story, then creaky infrastructures of public healthcare is the other end. The structural inequalities not only shape skewed outcomes along the global north/south divide but also within national territories along class/caste lines. It is all too evident that these inequalities need to be addressed in order to combat a global pandemic that requires global solutions; global cooperation rather than nationalist competition.


  • Dwai Banerjee, Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society, MIT
  • Emilija Zabiliute, Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
  • Ayo Wahlberg, Professor mso, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

Convened by Ravinder Kaur and Jørgen Delman
Organized by Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies and ADI

The event is part of the Asian Futures Seminar Series. and will be held in connection with the annual SANR conference.

In April 2020, a virtual symposium "The Viral Condition" was initiated in collaboration with IDENTITIES.

It resulted in a collection of short essays, think pieces, reflections and field notes from the state of the COVID-19 lockdown that help think through the profound social-political effects of this twenty-first century viral condition.

Read all contributions here: The Viral Condition - Identities Virtual Symposium