a collage of book covers from books in the article list dropped on a green background

Reading List: Helen Cammock for Radio Ballads

“Care navigates spaces that are emotional, social and political. There are many different things to say about care, and many different ways to say them. This selection of texts from different voices offer reflections and perspectives that contextualise the thinking behind my project for Radio Ballads.” — Helen Cammock

How can we speak, write, and think, of care? Held in and enacted through our bodies, it is something we all experience differently — and yet, care connects us as interdependent beings. To navigate this complex and vital field, many practitioners of care draw on knowledge, ethics, and approaches developed in other disciplines. Artists, social workers, nurses, therapists, doctors, educators, and activists often learn from one another’s work.

As part of her contribution to the Radio Ballads exhibition, artist Helen Cammock offered a book table. Here, visitors could sit and read titles which have influenced Cammock’s practice, and her three-year collaborative project with people living in Barking and Dagenham. This reading list invites you to discover new lines of enquiry into how we relate to one another, and new frameworks for caring action.

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

María Puig de la Bellacasa, Matters of Care

Madeleine Bunting, Labours of Love

Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death

The Care Collective, The Care Manifesto

Lisa Cherry, Conversations That Make a Difference for Children and Young People

‘Each of us has been shaped by the care of others. From the first touch of the midwife’s worn hands as she pulled you into the world, your life has been sustained by a long catalogue of people who have nurtured and supported your development and well-being… Ahead lie more experiences of being cared for, possibly from those you love and certainly from many strangers, whom you may completely depend on for your basic needs… No one can afford not to be interested in care.’ Madeleine Bunting, Labours of Love

Ed. Laura Erickson-Schroth, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble

Sonja M. Brown Givens, Underserved Women of Color, Voice, and Resistance: Claiming a Seat
at the Table

Stuart Hall and Mark Sealy, Different

Bessel Van Der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score

Audre Lorde, Your Silence Will Not Protect You

Iain Mackenzie, Resistance and the Politics of Truth

Ed. Danny Morrison, Hunger Strike

‘Care is omnipresent, even through the effects of its absence. Like a longing emanating from the troubles of neglect, it passes within, across, throughout things. Its lack undoes, allows unravelling. To care can feel good; it can also feel awful. It can do good; it can oppress. Its essential character to humans and countless living things makes it all the more susceptible to conveying control. […] Care is a human trouble, but this does not make of care a human-only matter.’ María Puig de la Bellacasa, Matters of Care

Dan Peel, The Story of the African American Fight for Justice and Equality: The History of The Civil Rights Movement

Reiland Rabaka, Civil Rights Music: The Soundtracks of the Civil Rights Movement

Jayneen Sanders, Let’s Talk About Body Boundaries, Consent and Respect, illustrated by Sara Jennings

Reilly Snorton, Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity

Susan Stryker, Transgender History

Mickey Vallee, Sounding Bodies Sounding Worlds

Jean Watson, Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring

‘We have been encouraged to feel and act like hyper-individualised, competitive subjects who primarily look out for ourselves. But in order to thrive we need caring communities […] because issues of care are not just bound up with the intimacy of very close relationships, such as family and kinship. They also take place in the environment we move through…’ The Care Collective, The Care Manifesto

a view of a gallery space where we can see a fabric banner above a wooden table with chairs around it and books spread out on top
Radio Ballads, Installation view, 31 March – 29 May 2022, Serpentine North Helen Cammock, book table, 2022 Photo: George Darrell

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