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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
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such as Jonathan Benthall and Kevin Rozario suggest that global humanitarianism acquired its distinctive contemporary ethos and form in the West with the founding of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863, and subsequently with the work of the American Red Cross during the First World War. 8 However, humanitarianism underwent a significant shift in the aftermath of the Second World War. Craig Calhoun, for example, claims the civilian

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
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Television and the politics of British humanitarianism

the NGOs represented on the DEC, which consolidated the latter as the most influential actors in their sector. The perception of the film as a new phenomenon in broadcasting also foreshadowed what would become a familiar trend in global humanitarianism, of single television news bulletins or programmes galvanising massive international public responses. This reality was not lost on the largest aid agencies, and it

in Global humanitarianism and media culture

work by aid agencies and their close relationship with journalists. Simon Cottle and David Nolan claim that, ‘These developments imperil the very ethics and project of global humanitarianism that aid agencies historically have done so much to promote’. 10 Glenda Cooper also questions the editorial integrity of journalists working with aid agencies: ‘While journalists – if sometimes imperfectly – work on the principle of

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Grassroots exceptionalism in humanitarian memoir

founder, who theoretically serves as the naive axis of change. This was made possible as the ideology of self-help came to challenge that of aid in international development, turning the micro-borrower into the figure par excellence of global humanitarianism. In this context Yunus’s memoir serves the important function of appropriating for the micro-lender and his institution the borrower’s naive appeal

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
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
The United States Peace Corps in the early 1960s

This chapter focuses on the United States Peace Corp and explores the nature and effects of the Peace Corps’ publicity, media and popular culture portrayals during the 1960s. It shows how the Peace Corps rendered international development into a topic for mainstream discussion and public engagement, and traces some of the political outcomes of this publicity. By focusing on volunteers’ altruistic intentions Peace Corps publicity portrayed international development as a humanitarian project. Presenting US intervention as a positive expression of American altruism, the Peace Corps helped popularise the view that America had a responsibility to modernise the ‘underdeveloped’ nations of the world. This chapter argues that, by privileging American viewpoints and eliding competing visions, Peace Corps publicity helped normalise the logic of intervention.

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Cinema, news media and perception management of the Gaza conflicts

This chapter examines media coverage of the Gaza conflicts and considers what occurs when humanitarian images of Palestinian casualties take centre stage. The chapter argues that a media outcome that appears to be favourable to the Palestinians, in that it focuses on their suffering, can actually have the opposite effect. Addressing UK, US and Israeli news media, as well as popular television and the documentary films Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008) and Where Should the Birds Fly (Fida Qishta, 2013), the chapter addresses the ways ‘perception management’ can serve to divorce the public from realities of state violence through a kind of cinematic derealisation that enables states to reduce perceptions of blame for their atrocities and act with impunity.

in Global humanitarianism and media culture