Can self-care be automated effectively?  Are marginalised women more susceptible to lack of self care through historic lack of attention, care and visibility?  

Tracey Bowen’s research shows that the most radical act for a marginalised person is self care. Whilst the world demands so much from marginalised women and subjects them to unnecessary toxicity and burden – Bowen asks: who is there to care for people who are historically placed at the bottom of the ladder; always looking after everyone except themselves? 

Whilst working with Mozilla and Mindflow, Bowen developed a fully automated bot which is scanning messages and creating an algorithm to identify toxic or abusive speech or sentiment. As a part of the process, the user can be asked to scan their own messages and situations and report to the app.

The primary function – is to prompt the user to take care of themselves in everyday situations, not just in the midst of toxicity where health can suffer drastically. The aim is to test with marginalised women including professional lawyers/barristers, female surgeons ad medical professionals, talking therapy practitioners and selected focus groups.           

The bot acts as an intersectional interventionist welfare bot/app or ‘automated self care companion’ – which can support members of the public in times of need, remind them to eat, hydrate, track sleep, identify toxic situations and speech, soothe and signpost wellness resources. If necessary and authorised the bot/app can also alert others.

As a part of this research residency, Bowen tested her project with the Black Women in Law group (UK) ; Controlr focus group (UK) , Melanin Queens (IND) ; Yellow Couch Collective (USA) Mindflow founder and surgeon Jaqueline Rees (UK).