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This collection interrogates the representation of humanitarian crisis and catastrophe, and the refraction of humanitarian intervention and action, from the mid-twentieth century to the present, across a diverse range of media forms: traditional and contemporary screen media (film, television and online video) as well as newspapers, memoirs, music festivals and social media platforms (such as Facebook, YouTube and Flickr). The book thus explores the historical, cultural and political contexts that have shaped the mediation of humanitarian relationships since the middle of the twentieth century. Together, the chapters illustrate the continuities and connections, as well as the differences, which have characterised the mediatisation of both states of emergency and acts of amelioration. The authors reveal and explore the significant synergies between the humanitarian enterprise, the endeavour to alleviate the suffering of particular groups, and media representations, and their modes of addressing and appealing to specific publics. The chapters consider the ways in which media texts, technologies and practices reflect and shape the shifting moral, political, ethical, rhetorical, ideological and material dimensions of international humanitarian emergency and intervention, and have become integral to the changing relationships between organisations, institutions, governments, individual actors and entire sectors.

’ children by purchasing environmentally friendly products, or we might act against child labour practices in ‘distant’ nations by purchasing garments manufactured by particular companies. These practices raise several questions of a global humanitarianism for children. Can the intent to protect ‘our’ children extend to a more universalised impulse to protect ‘other’, more distant children? What are the limitations of

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

Introduction Drawing its energy from the wave of New Left and counter-cultural radicalism of the 1960s ( Boltanski and Chiapello, 2005 ), an NGO-led direct humanitarian action pushed onto the international stage during the 1970s. The radicalism of this new anti-establishment sans frontières humanitarianism lay in its political challenge to the conventions of Cold War sovereignty. By being there on the ground it sought to hold sovereign power to account, witnessing its excesses while professing a face-to-face humanitarian solidarity with its

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

. Eurocentrism has taught us to see the potential end of an era in every relative change in Western power. Thinking about the role of humanitarianism today requires that we don’t reproduce or unwittingly celebrate Western-led order by mourning the end of a history that never actually existed. Given past and present non-Western experiences of liberal order, we might ask: what’s there to mourn? My personal experiences of research and knowledge production regarding humanitarianism have reinforced in me an anti-colonial ethos – an intellectual opposition to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Television and the politics of British humanitarianism

The mass media is a critical actor in the global humanitarian system. New communication technologies have publicised and drawn attention to disasters and faraway suffering, collapsing the distance between global North and South, mobilising public empathy and accelerating the growth of international NGOs. 1 The linkages between humanitarianism and the media have been analysed from a range of

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
The Marshall Plan films about Greece

A growing number of studies have argued for a historical and historicised understanding of global humanitarianism and humanitarian intervention. 1 However, the history of the interdependence of humanitarianism with media campaigns and the wider visual culture of each period remains an underexplored field, as the few studies in this area highlight. 2 The Marshall Plan films stand for a landmark

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
From starving children to satirical saviours

The development of social media sites, such as Facebook (founded 2004) and Twitter (founded 2006), has changed humanitarian non-governmental organisations’ (NGOs) media practices and subsequently altered the ways that supporters and publics are engaged. 1 This chapter focuses on a recent movement for NGOs to humour humanitarianism to achieve visibility on social networks

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Offline and online games, branding and humanitarianism at the Roskilde Festival

In humanitarianism the popularising of causes, and the use of celebrities and media culture to do so, is a rising phenomenon. Academic writing on humanitarianism, however, tends to criticise the popular, especially when it is mediated through celebrities. 1 Such critiques often intersect with disapproval of the growing collaboration or crossbranding between humanitarian

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Juvenile actors and humanitarian sentiment in the 1940s

new era of global humanitarianism. Raymond Williams described ‘structures of feeling’ as ‘affective elements of consciousness and relationships: not feeling against thought, but thought as felt and feeling as thought: practical consciousness of a present kind, in a living and interrelating community’. 4 A humanitarian ‘structure of feeling’ crystallises around an affective beholding of a group of displaced and dispossessed

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Editor’s Introduction

, reinforcing the symbiosis between humanitarianism and the state. The sufficiency of a humanitarian minimum became justification for cuts in public expenditure, particularly as NGOs offered themselves as subcontractors for the provision of essential services at home and abroad. Western governments placed pressure on NGOs to carry out neomanagerial reforms that would promote cultural synergies with their own overseas aid departments, now reorganised according to the business imperatives of the New Public Management. And NGOs used these reforms to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs