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.

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

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Since the 1990s, there has been a marked increase in the scholarly consideration of the relationships between humanitarianism and media culture, and from a range of critical and disciplinary perspectives and institutional contexts. 1 An emergent field of inquiry has been significantly shaped by several foundational analyses of the representation of humanitarian crisis, and particularly of the media’s various repertoires

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Journalism practice, risk and humanitarian communication

Human Nature ( Bonn : Social Brain Press , 2011 ). 21 For the former, see B. Höijer , ‘ The Discourse of Global Compassion: The Audience and Media Reporting of Human Suffering ’, Media, Culture and Society , 26 : 4 ( 2004 ), pp. 513 – 31 ; J. Petley , ‘ War

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politics and notes that we need to think more deeply about the models of ‘reflexivity’ that lead to activism. 56 While she sees promise in tools offered by cultural studies, she also recognises the need to move into ‘wider’ and more ‘messy’ terrain to explore how ‘alternative economies elicit affectual investments (or not)’. 57 Thus, to understand how and when media cultures support a global humanitarianism for distant children

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

Networks’, p. 210; S . Orgad , Media Representation and the Global Imagination ( Cambridge and Malden, MA : Polity Press , 2012 ), p. 157 ; L . van Zoonen , ‘ From Identity to Identification: Fixating the Fragmented Self ’, Media, Culture & Society , 35 : 1 ( 2013 ), pp. 44 – 51 . 55

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Television and the politics of British humanitarianism

starvation to mobilise against and overthrow Emperor Haile Selassie’s imperial government. 4 Yet despite its importance, The Unknown Famine and the mobilisations that followed it have been largely neglected in studies of humanitarianism and media culture, being overshadowed by the larger-scale Ethiopian famine of 1984–5, which sparked the iconic Band Aid/Live Aid phenomenon. 5

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

This chapter examines specific ideological and aesthetic dimensions of the representation of children in American films produced during and directly after the Second World War in relation to the promotion and operations of the United Nations. It analyses how vulnerable children from the world’s war zones appeared and functioned in four Hollywood studio pictures. These films presented groups of children to harness humanitarian sentiment in support of the ideology and activities of the UN. While the figure of the child acquired new cultural and political significance in the era of the United Nations’ wartime and post-war endeavours in humanitarianism, the presentation and performances of Hollywood’s juvenile actors simultaneously became subject to new modes of moral apprehension and aesthetic evaluation.

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Grassroots exceptionalism in humanitarian memoir

Memoir has for some time played a significant role in the expansion and interpretation of the humanitarian industry. For both the relief and development industries memoir is admirably suited as an ambassador from the field to the larger public, oriented as it is to personal experience and testimony. This chapter explores how humanitarian memoir generates an aura of authenticity much-needed by an industry reliant on public donations and on the perception of its status as a player outside the systems of state sovereignty and global capital. Analysing two founder narratives, this chapter considers the ‘humanitarian naive’ at work: the role of the ‘fool’ proves both revelatory and empowering, asserting the value of sui generis intelligence to produce humanitarian knowledge and even participate in global governance.

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

This chapter examines how Marshall Plan documentary films about reconstruction in Greece mobilised national culture and identity politics in their audio-visual rhetoric. Addressing the films’ humanitarian narratives, the chapter suggests Marshall Plan documentaries inaugurated a visual politics of neo-humanitarianism. It analyses how classical antiquity is evoked in the films to stand not only for Greece’s reconstruction but also for Western Europe’s future and its alignment with the US vision of a geopolitical ‘pax Americana’. Focusing on Humphrey Jennings’ The Good Life (1952), the chapter explores a historical dialectic between modern and classical Greece that positions the Marshall Plan aid within a dual perspective of national reconstruction and universal necessity.

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