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.
Gabriel Andrade received a Doctorate of Human Sciences from Universidad del Zulia, Venezuela. He is currently a Lecturer of Behavioral Sciences at Xavier University School of Medicine, Aruba. He has written peer-reviewed articles on religious studies, psychology and philosophy. He published El darwinismo y la religion (University of Cantabria Press, 2009), amongst other books. His research interests are in medical ethics, religion and health, and evolutionary psychology. He frequently writes op-ed pieces on ethics and current affairs in The Prindle Post.
Emily Bauman teaches core humanities and human rights and development at New York University. She has published on the visual rhetoric of political biography, NGO video narratives and postcolonial theory, amongst other topics. She is currently at work on a book on religious iconography and the Cold War.
Shohini Chaudhuri is a Senior Lecturer in Film at the University of Essex. She has written three books – Contemporary World Cinema: Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia (Edinburgh University Press, 2005), Feminist Film Theorists (Routledge, 2006) and Cinema of the Dark Side: Atrocity and the Ethics of Film Spectatorship (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). Her most recent work focuses on the intersections between film and human rights, including book chapters and articles about documentaries on the Syrian and Iraq wars, and a forthcoming book on freedom of expression and the cinema.
Lene Bull Christiansen is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Communication and Arts at Roskilde University, Denmark. Her current work deals with development communication and celebrity and nationalism in Denmark. She is a core member of the Nordic Celebrity Studies Network.
Toby Fricker works as part of UNICEF’s global emergency response team, supporting offices in conflict settings, from Afghanistan to Syria and Nigeria to Ukraine. Toby was based in Jordan from 2012 to 2015, working with UNICEF in covering the response to the Syrian refugee crisis. He previously lived in countries including Laos, Indonesia and Uganda, working in many others in-between as a communications professional, videographer and journalist.
Andrew Jones is an Assistant Professor in Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick. His research focuses on the recent history of British humanitarianism, with a focus on the rise of NGOs. He is currently preparing a monograph which will investigate how the contemporary humanitarian sector developed in post-war Britain.
Michael Lawrence is Reader in Film Studies at the University of Sussex. He is the author of Sabu (British Film Institute, 2014) and the co-editor, with Laura McMahon, of Animal Life and the Moving Image (British Film Institute, 2015) and, with Karen Lury, of The Zoo and Screen Media: Images of Exhibition and Encounter (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). He is currently working on a monograph, The Children and the Nations: Juvenile Actors, Hollywood Cinema and Humanitarian Sentiment, 1940–1960.
Katerina Loukopoulou is Associate Lecturer at the London College of Communication of the University of the Arts London, where she teaches on the MA Documentary Film. Her publications include articles in the International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics and Film History and essays in the collections Learning With the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Cinema’s Military Industrial Complex (University of California Press, 2018). Her current project, supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, investigates the relationship between pacifism and documentary cinema.
Jairo Lugo-Ocando is Associate Professor in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds, UK. Before becoming an academic, he worked as a journalist, correspondent and news editor for several news media in Latin America and the United States. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the National University of Singapore and an associated professor of the doctoral programme in Communications at the University of Malaga (Spain). His research deals with the relation between journalism, development, poverty and social exclusion. He is author of Blaming the Victim: How Global Journalism Fails Those in Poverty (Pluto Press, 2014) and author of the forthcoming Developing News: Global Journalism and Coverage of the Third World (Routledge, 2015).
Pierluigi Musarò is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Bologna, Italy, Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at the New York University, and Faculty Expert/Mentor for the WISE Learners’ Voice Program, Qatar Foundation, where he teaches ‘humanitarian communication’ and ‘media and security’. His teaching and research examines humanitarian communication, media and security. He has published several articles on migration, cultural sociology and sustainable tourism.
Mette Fog Olwig, a human geographer, is Assistant Professor in International Development Studies at the Department of Society and Business at Roskilde University, Denmark. She has published on development and humanitarian communication in relation to ethical labelling, celebrity humanitarianism, benefit events and branding globally, as well as on dynamics, power relations, narratives and development policy in relation to natural disasters and climate change in Vietnam, Ghana and Tanzania. She is currently doing research on business–humanitarian partnerships and how they relate to commodifying compassion.
Agnieszka Sobocinska is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University, and Deputy Director of the National Centre for Australian Studies. She is an historian with research interests in the intersection of popular opinion and foreign affairs through travel and tourism, and of popular Western perceptions of the third world. She is the author of Visiting the Neighbours: Australians in Asia (NewSouth, 2014) and, with David Walker, co-editor of Australia’s Asia: from Yellow Peril to Asian Century (UWA Publishing, 2012).
Laura Suski is Professor in the Department of Sociology at Vancouver Island University. She also teaches in the Liberal Studies Department and the Global Studies Program. She holds a PhD in social and political thought from York University. Her current research interests include the analyses of political emotions, humanitarianism as an Enlightenment project, notions of the family and childhood in global ethics, and new theories of consumption and taste.
Rachel Tavernor recently completed her AHRC-funded PhD titled Communicating Solidarity: The Cultural Politics and Practices of Humanitarian NGO Campaigns at the University of Sussex. Her research interests include anti-poverty activism, feminism and rights based approaches to communication. She is the founding editor of the interdisciplinary website, Re.framing Activism, and has worked for humanitarian NGOs in youth, community and campaign roles.