Scholars Lab Disaster Porn

Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007
Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Refugees 1NC (4/4).....................................................................................................................................................60 Link: Refugee Movement............................................................................................................................................61 Link: Refugee Assistance ............................................................................................................................................62 Link: Refugee Camps ..................................................................................................................................................63 DISASTER PORNOGRAPHY .....................................................................................................................................1 Link: Satellite Imagery ................................................................................................................................................64 Disaster Aerial Image 1NC (1/5) ...................................................................................................................................3 Impact: Pornography ...................................................................................................................................................65 Disaster Tied to Place...................................................................................................................................................66 Impact: Pornography 1NC (2/5) ...................................................................................................................................4 Disaster Afro-Pessimism ..............................................................................................................................................67 Impact: Pornography 1NC (3/5) ...................................................................................................................................5 Disaster Eliminates Agency..........................................................................................................................................68 Impact: Pornography 1NC (4/5) ...................................................................................................................................6 Disaster Refugee Dehumanization...................................................................................................................................7 Impact: Pornography 1NC (5/5) ...............................................................................................................................69 Link: Atrocity Exploitation (1/4)...................................................................................................................................8 Aff Can’t Solve............................................................................................................................................................70 Link:Case Outweighs....................................................................................................................................................71 AT: Atrocity Exploitation (2/4)...................................................................................................................................9 Link:Case Solves ..........................................................................................................................................................72 AT: Atrocity Exploitation (3/4).................................................................................................................................10 Link: Moral Obligation..................................................................................................................................................73 AT: Atrocity Exploitation (4/4).................................................................................................................................11 Link:Altruism ...............................................................................................................................................................74 AT: Generic...............................................................................................................................................................13 Link: Complicity............................................................................................................................................................75 AT: AIDS ..................................................................................................................................................................14 Link:Knowledge / Mobilization....................................................................................................................................76 AT: Food Crisis.........................................................................................................................................................15 Link:Perm – Reps Matter..............................................................................................................................................95 AT: Sudan .................................................................................................................................................................16 Link: Children .............................................................................................................................................................17 AT: Bear Witness / Mobilize Relief ............................................................................................................................77 Link: Relief Workers...................................................................................................................................................18 AT: “They need us/It’s a real problem”.......................................................................................................................78 Link: “Tribe” ...............................................................................................................................................................19 AT: “We Help Africa (One Entity)”............................................................................ 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Link:“Our stories are true”............................................................................................................................................80 AT: US Key...............................................................................................................................................................20 Link:“NGO Reforms Solve”.........................................................................................................................................81 AT: Prioritize Crisis Over Africa ..............................................................................................................................22 Link:“Media Doesn’t Control Perceptions”..................................................................................................................82 AT: Disaster ..............................................................................................................................................................23 Link: Afro-Pessimism..................................................................................................................................................24 AT: “Disaster Porn is Necessary/We Outweigh” (1/2)................................................................................................83 Link: Newsbites...........................................................................................................................................................25 AT: “Disaster Porn is Necessary/We Outweigh” (2/2)................................................................................................84 Impact: Consumption (1/2)..........................................................................................................................................26 AT: “Negative Portrayals Key” ...................................................................................................................................85 Impact: Consumption (2/2)..........................................................................................................................................28 AT: “Floating PIKs Bad” ............................................................................................................................................86 Impact: Spread Compassion - Inauthenticity ...............................................................................................................87 AT: Politics of Cap (Foreign) .....................................................................................................................................29 Impact: Consumption = Cap- (Domestic).....................................................................................................................30 AT: Politics of Compassion Ethics of Pity................................................................................................................88 Impact: Cap of Terminal................................................................................................................................................31 AT: Politics - Compassion – Justifies Oppression.....................................................................................................89 Impact: Capitalist Exploitation....................................................................................................................................32 AT: Politics of Compassion – Imagery Becomes Enough...........................................................................................90 Impact: History Erasure More.......................................................................................................................................91 AT: Perm – Desire For / Capitalist Exploitation........................................................................................................33 Impact: Racism............................................................................................................................................................34 AT: Perm – Silences Alternatives................................................................................................................................93 Impact: African Self-Hate............................................................................................................................................35 AT: Perm .....................................................................................................................................................................91 Impact: Indifference / No Solvency.............................................................................................................................37 AT: “Its our evidence, not us” .....................................................................................................................................96 Impact: Dependency....................................................................................................................................................38 ***AFF ANSWERS***..............................................................................................................................................97 Impact: Humanitarian to solve: Public Interest...........................................................................................................98 Aff: Disaster porn key Intervention..............................................................................................................................39 Impact: Afro-pessimism Poverty / Root of War ......................................................................................................40 Aff: Disaster porn key to solve: Gov’t Pressure ..........................................................................................................99 Impact: Turnsporn keySystemic Harms / Alt Key (1/2) ...............................................................................................41 Aff: Disaster Case + to solve: Media demystification ............................................................................................100 Impact: Turns Case + good: Global moral conscience................................................................................................101 Aff: Representations Systemic Harms / Alt Key (2/2) ............................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Impact: Structural ViolenceForce us to address issues..............................................................................................102 Aff: Representations good: Outweighs.......................................................................................................................42 Turns Case (1/4) ..........................................................................................................................................................43 Aff: Representations are justified if true (1/2)...........................................................................................................103 Turns Case (2/4) ..........................................................................................................................................................44 Aff: Representations are justified if true (2/2)...........................................................................................................104 Turns Case Politics of Compassion ...........................................................................................................................105 Aff Perm – (3/4) ..........................................................................................................................................................45 Turns is Unconditional Responsibility .......................................................................................................................106 Perm Case (4/4) ..........................................................................................................................................................46 Cap 2NC (1/2) w/ Other ...........................................................................................................................................107 Compassion ID .............................................................................................................................................................47 Cap 2NC (2/2) .............................................................................................................................................................48 Compassion opens space for alts ...............................................................................................................................108 Aff Impacts is Interconnected Ontology ...................................................................................................................109 Compassion Are Suspect..............................................................................................................................................49 African Progress Uniqueness.......................................................................................................................................50 Compassionate Identifying Solves Needs..................................................................................................................110 Alternative: CounterMarginalization ..........................................................................................................................111 Compassion solves - Discourse solves ......................................................................................................................51 Alternative: Solves Absolute Dichotomy / Inclusion-Exclusion...............................................................................112 Compassion Media Change..........................................................................................................................................53 Discourse Determines Policymaking (1/2)..................................................................................................................54 Reps place Other before us........................................................................................................................................113 Discourse Determines Policymaking (2/2)..................................................................................................................55 ***REFUGEES ANSWERS***...............................................................................................................................114 Text = Imagery ............................................................................................................................................................56 Reps Give Advocacy .................................................................................................................................................115 Refugees 1NC (1/4).....................................................................................................................................................57 Reps Spur Organizational..........................................................................................................................................116 Refugees 1NC Refugees History / Culture – Ivory Tower Turn .............................................................................117 Metaphors Give (2/4).....................................................................................................................................................58 RefugeesSparks(3/4).....................................................................................................................................................59 Imagery 1NC Politics .............................................................................................................................................118

DISASTER PORNOGRAPHY

Scholars Lab Disaster Porn

The affirmative is only interested in the technical artificiality that the images of catastrophe and suffering provide them in the 1ac – this destroys the distance and ambiguity necessary for reflection and understanding of catastrophe – this mentality extends itself from this debate round and into everyday life where we then become complicit to suffering we see everyday Taylor 06 [Paul, Professor of Communication Studies, “The Pornographic barbarism of the Self-reflecting sign”,
IJBS, Volume 4 Number 1, published 2006] Jean Baudrillard has compared the West’s relationship to images in terms of obscenity. In the light of events in Iraq, frequent accusations that his work is willfully abstruse should be reconsidered. Baudrillard takes the notion of the obscene literally. An etymological analysis of the word gives us “ob” – a prefix meaning hindering – and “scene” – from the Latin and Greek words for “stage”. Ignoring its conventional connotation of depravity, his re-reading of the term obscene gives us the notion that Western media-dominated society is ob-scene because its proliferation of images has imploded the traditional, symbolically coded distance between the image and viewer that is implied with a stage. Baudrillard’s writing contains the repeated theme that in the West we suffer from a virus-like proliferation of immediate images that replace the distance needed for either considered reflection or a developed sensitivity to the ambiguities of cultural meanings. Baudrillard’s analysis illuminates the present mediascape. For example, he argues: “… we shouldn’t underestimate the power of the obscene, its power to exterminate all ambiguity and all seduction and deliver to us the definitive fascination of bodies without faces, faces without eyes, and eyes that don’t look”. This has chilling pertinence to the dehumanized images of Iraqi prisoners in which their faces are hooded, deliberately pixilated, or only appear as minor details within a broader tableau (e.g., the naked man cowering in front of snarling guard dogs). Originally used in a different context, Baudrillard also provides an unwittingly prescient description of the furor over the Daily Mirror pictures’ authenticity:…we don’t look for definition or richness of imagination in these images; we look for the giddiness of their superficiality, for the artifice of detail, the intimacy of their technique. What we truly desire is their technical artificiality, and nothing more. Beyond the manifest obscenity of the Pornography of the Abu Ghraib photographs, Baudrillard’s broader theoretical point relates to how their staging paradoxically relies upon the actual absence of a stage. A surfeit of images is presented to us so that: ”Obscenity takes on all the semblances of modernity. We are used to seeing it, first of all, in the perpetration of sex, but it extends to everything that can be perpetrated in the visible – it becomes the perpetration of the visible itself”. In a form of semiotic potlatch, images become their own justification for the decontextualized consumption for its own sake of such formats as MTV Cribs and Bumfights. Everything becomes a potential image for the voyeuristic gaze and less and less is ruled out on grounds of taste or any other consideration. The pornography of the image lies here in its explicitness. Nothing is left to the imagination and all is revealed to the passive viewer. An apparently overwhelming sexual will-to-reveal that Welsh identified in the rise of gonzo porn may at least partially explain the sexual aspect of the Abu Ghraib pictures. As Sontag recently argued, we live in a world where, increasingly: An erotic life is for more and more people what can be captured on video. To live is to be photographed, to have a record of one’s life, oblivious or claiming to be oblivious to the camera’s non-stop attentions ...Ours is a society in which secrets of private life that, formerly, you would have given nearly anything to conceal, you now clamour to get on a television show to reveal.

Scholars Lab Disaster Porn

Specifically- The Affirmative perpetuates an artificial afro-pessimistic mindset through their false representations of African atrocity Olujobi 06 (Gbemisola “The Africa You Need to Know”
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/ ; Posted on Nov 28, 2006) Rod Chavis says in “Africa in the Western Media”: “Nouns and adjectives like hut, dark, tribe, King Kong, tribalism, primitive, nomad, animism, jungle, cannibal, savage, underdeveloped, third world, developing, etc., are pervasive when Africa is the story. Images of Africa in the Western Media, many times, are deeply troubling psychologically and emotionally, especially to those claiming her as primordial heritage, lineage, and descendancy. They portray a no there there: no culture, no history, no tradition, and no people, an abyss and negative void. “With the stroke of a journalist’s pen,” Chavis continues, “the African, her continent, and her descendants are pejoratively reduced to nothing [but] ... a bastion of disease, savagery, animism, pestilence, war, famine, despotism, primitivism, poverty, and ubiquitous images of children, flies in their food and faces, their stomachs distended. These ‘universal’ but powerfully subliminal message units, beamed at global television audiences, connote something not good, perennially problematic unworthiness, deplorability, black, foreboding, loathing, sub humanity, etc.”

And, This turns case- the perpetuation of Afro-Pessimism via the Aff’s disaster pornography creates more and more negative perceptions about Africa, and deters aid. This is the root cause of the Affirmative harms Olujobi 06 (Gbemisola “The Africa You Need to
Know” http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/ ; Posted on Nov 28, 2006) How does this negative portrayal affect Africa’s fortunes? These former heads of state, who should know, because of their former and relatively still vantage positions, were unanimous that this negative portrayal “has profound relevance to everything— including the world considering Africa as a worthy investment venue and viewing Africa as a valuable trading partner ...it is reasonable to posit that negative perceptions lead to negative outcomes, namely, lower levels of aid and lower levels of investment.” Facts are sacred and the truth must be told. Despite generous human and natural endowments, Africa is home to 32 of the 38 highly indebted countries of the world and remains the only continent where the proportion of the population in extreme poverty is growing. Thirty-six and two-tenths percent of Africans live on less than a dollar a day. Most African countries are at the bottom of the United Nations’ overall human development index, which also measures education, life expectancy, gross domestic product and other indicators of development. The overwhelming majority of African countries are not on target to meet any of the Millennium Development Goals agreed upon at the United Nations in 2000. Sad, but all true.

Scholars Lab Disaster Porn

Additionally- The “efforts to alleviate” catastrophe posed by the aff is entrenched in a selfserving mentality- they will inevitably result in perpetuation and recreation of the harms they try to solve Baudrillard 94 (Jean, Professor of Media;“The Illusion of the End” p. 66-71)
We have long denounced the capitalistic, economic exploitation of the poverty of the 'other half of the world' [['autre monde]. We must today denounce the moral and sentimental exploitation of that poverty - charity cannibalism being worse than oppressive violence. The extraction and humanitarian reprocessing of a destitution which has become the equivalent of oil deposits and gold mines. The extortion of the spectacle of poverty and, at the same time, of our charitable condescension: a worldwide appreciated surplus of fine sentiments and bad conscience. We should, in fact, see this not as the extraction of raw materials, but as a waste-reprocessing enterprise. Their destitution and our bad conscience are, in effect, all part of the waste-products of history- the main thing is to recycle them to produce a new energy source. We have here an escalation in the psychological balance of terror. World capitalist oppression is now merely the vehicle and alibi for this other, much more ferocious, form of moral predation. One might almost say, contrary to the Marxist analysis, that material exploitation is only there to extract that spiritual raw material that is the misery of peoples, which serves as psychological nourishment for the rich countries and media nourishment for our daily lives. The 'Fourth World' (we are no longer dealing with a 'developing' Third World) is once again beleaguered, this time as a catastrophe-bearing stratum. The West is whitewashed in the reprocessing of the rest of the world as waste and residue. And the white world repents and seeks absolution - it, too, the waste-product of its own history. The South is a natural producer of raw materials, the latest of which is catastrophe. The North, for its part, specializes in the reprocessing of raw materials and hence also in the reprocessing of catastrophe. Bloodsucking protection, humanitarian interference, Medecins sans frontieres, international solidarity, etc. The last phase of colonialism: the New Sentimental Order is merely the latest form of the New World Order. Other people's destitution becomes our adventure playground. Thus, the humanitarian offensive aimed at the Kurds - a show of repentance on the part of the Western powers after allowing Saddam Hussein to crush them - is in reality merely the second phase of the war, a phase in which charitable intervention finishes off the work of extermination. We are the consumers of the ever delightful spectacle of poverty and catastrophe, and of the moving spectacle of our own efforts to alleviate it (which, in fact, merely function to secure the conditions of reproduction of the catastrophe market); there, at least, in the order of moral profits, the Marxist analysis is wholly applicable: we see to it that extreme poverty is reproduced as a symbolic deposit, as a fuel essential to the moral and sentimental equilibrium of the West. In our defence, it might be said that this extreme poverty was largely of our own making and it is therefore normal that we should profit by it.

Scholars Lab Disaster Porn

We need to critically examine the justifications for policies or we risk reproducing the very harms that well-meaning political decisions are meant to alleviate. Reject the aff’s discursive constructions Doty 96(Assistant Professor Of Political Science at ASU, 1996 [Roxanne Lynn, Imperial Encounters: The Politics
of Representation in North-South Relations, p. 170-171] North-South relations have been constituted as a structure of deferral. The center of the structure (alternatively white man, modern man, the United States, the West, real states) has never been absolutely present outside a system of differences. It has itself been constituted as trace—the simulacrum of a presence that dislocates itself, displaces itself, refers itself (ibid.). Because the center is not a fixed locus but a function in which an infinite number of sign substitutions come into play the domain and play of signification is extended indefinitely (Derrida 1978: 280). This both opens up and limits possibilities, generates alternative sites of meanings and political resistances that give rise to practices of reinscription that seek to reaffirm identities and relationships. The inherently incomplete and open nature of discourse makes this reaffirmation an ongoing and never finally completed project. In this study I have sought, through an engagement with various discourses in which claims to truth have been staked, to challenge the validity of the structures of meaning and to make visible their complicity with practices of power and domination. By examining the ways in which structures of meaning have been associated with imperial practices, I have suggested that the construction of meaning and the construction of social, political, and economic power are inextricably linked. This suggests an ethical dimension to making meaning and an ethical imperative that is incumbent upon those who toil in the construction of structures of meaning. This is especially urgent in North-South relations today: one does not have to search very far to find a continuing complicity with colonial representations that ranges from a politics of silence and neglect to constructions of terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, and international drug trafficking, and Southern immigration to the North as new threats to global stability and peace. The political stakes raised by this analysis revolve around the question of being able to "get beyond" the representations or speak outside of the discourses that historically have constructed the North and the South.

Each comes from a different historical situation.edu/journals/rhetoric_and_public_affairs/v004/4.html) The impact the Mogadishu images have had on American foreign policy is clear.isil.representations always come first Dauber 01( Cori Elizabeth. No matter how similar. In a recent book on the conflict in Kosovo.Rhetorical analysis is a necessary precursor to policy making. they report. but so do their contexts and the words that accompany them. need not be a straightjacket or a deterrent to the use of American power.au. through their choice of projects and the formats in which they publish. Mogadishu. they argue.'" 110 It would be difficult to find more direct evidence for the profound impact and influence public rhetoric and debate have--and are understood to have--on policy." 109 and possibly to lengthen the air war as a result. What this article makes clear is that rhetoric (and therefore rhetorical analysis) also has power in the way policy is shaped and defined. has real power in the way events play out. the authors note that when the president spoke to the nation on the night the air war began.ts. “the shot seen round the world: the impact of the images of Mogadishu on american military operations”. policymaking. can stake a claim to having an important voice at the table--and they should do so. It is based on the incorrect assumption that people can only read images unidirectionally. and offers an ambiguous text that can be exploited by astute commentators. maintains that 'we would not have won the war without this sentence. That means that rhetorical analysis can have a role to play and a voice at the table before policies are determined. National Security Advisor Sandy Berger. or the mention of a potential parallel with Mogadishu. The implications of this shift in interpretation are potentially profound.edu. But "publicly ruling out their use only helped to reduce Milosevic's uncertainty regarding the likely scope of NATO's military actions. Yet. Academic rhetoricians. and policymakers at the highest level. http://muse. he immediately ruled out the use of ground forces.4dauber.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Finally.westga. every image is unique. "who authored the critical passage in the president's speech. Rhetoric. Associate professor of communications at the university of North Caroline Chapel Hill. This was done. Images matter profoundly. due to fears that leaving open the possibility of ground force participation would sacrifice domestic public and congressional (and allied) support for the air war. no matter how powerfully one text evokes another. But their impact is not inescapable or inevitable. is placed within a different story.uq. . whether discursive or visual.

“Compassion Fatigue : How the Media Sell Disease. The aff gives power to disaster journalism. Compassion fatigue ratchets up the criteria for stories that get coverage. Through these studies. the media’s repetitive chronologies. assistant professor in the philip merrill college of journalism at the university of Maryland. Or. Events have a certain amount of time in the limelight. the newest event is represented as being more extreme or deadly or risky than a similar past situation.” Has anyone ever considered this? They also reveal that “Somali doctors and nurses have expressed shock at the conduct of film crews in hospitals. Compassion fatigue is not an unavoidable consequence of covering the news. Compassion fatigue reinforces simplistic. Compassion fatigue abets Americans’ self-interest. an unavoidable consequence of the way the news is now covered. then. They rush through crowded corridors.” . To forestall the I’ve-seen-it-before syndrome. The chapters that follow identify the ruts into which the media have fallen in their coverage of international crises. then starving babies will headline the next difficult crisis. Famine. What does compassion fatigue do? It acts as a prior restraint on the media. Posted on Nov 28. the paparazzi trampled on children as they scrambled to film her feeding a little girl—three times. formulaic coverage.which exploits the suffering of others. page 2) Compassion fatigue is the unacknowledged cause of much of the failure of international reporting today. through a choice of language and images. sensationalized language and imagery and Americanized metaphors and references are compared and exposed. even if the situation has not been resolved. the media will prioritize stories where American political.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Compassion Fatigue is the reason why the media will do anything to get higher ratings. just like the affirmative will exploit anything to win a ballot Moeller 99 (Susan. however. journalists reject events that aren’t more dramatic or more lethal than their predecessors. the public’s boredom with international news. War and Death” 1999. “Reduced to nameless extras in the shadows behind Western aid workers or disaster tourists. the media’s peripatetic journalism. This is disaster pornography. hurting and humiliated human beings are not asked if they want to be portrayed in this degrading way. refugees and famine. They hold bedside vigils to record the moment of death. It is at the base of many of the complaints about the public’s short attention span.com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/ .truthdig. Further news is pre-empted. cultural or commercial connections are evident. Through these studies the inevitability of compassion fatigue is made apparent. the grieving. dashing to film the agony before it passes. Editors and producers don’t assign stories and correspondents don’t cover events that they believe will not appeal to their readers and viewers. It is. No new news is bad news. while causing more of that suffering itself Olujobi 06 (Gbemisola “The Africa You Need to Know” http://www. 2006) Putting an indelible question mark on disaster journalism. Compassion fatigue tempts journalists to find ever more sensational tidbits in stories to retain the attention of their audience. the media marches on. When the Italian actress Sophia Loren visited Somalia. leaping over stretchers. If images of starving babies worked in the past to capture attention for a complex crisis of war. they say. the media’s preoccupation with crisis coverage. If conventional wisdom says that Americans are only interested in their own backyard. Compassion fatigue encourages the media to move on to other stories once the range of possibilities of coverage have been exhausted so that boredom doesn’t set in.

The prophecy was simple: White Americans would never become aware of Africa unless they could learn enough about it to be interested. "You see. unless the story has a strong human interest potential. Competition among American television stations over their desire to report from the scene of events has pushed almost every American network and cable group to go international.V. In fact.has made an overwhelmingly diversified imprint on global society." Of course. Center for Media Literacy] I requested permission from the news departments of those two daily newspapers to glean through their wastepaper baskets for telex sheets from wire services containing stories transmitted from Africa. the stereotype imagery that has lived with the American and other Western audiences. Catering exclusively to a particular national audience has always been fraught with parochial tendencies. they are presented to the audience as an exception to normal things. In this technological explosion and unprecedented excitement in journalism. The Perspective. While indeed not much was offered by the news services. since no one will read it. If events in African countries ever make it to the news. April 30. .radio and television . Former Zimbabwe Director of Information. I conducted this search for most of an entire week. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where all we can know are the images. It never had a colony on that continent. will exploit any atrocity as long as they are benefited in the endAfrica is uniquely hurt by this flawed methodology Kromah 02 (Alhaji G. Makunike 93[Ezekiel Makunike. Out of Africa: Media Stereotypes Shape Images. the editor was both creating a self-fulfilling prophecy and ignoring an obvious fact.theperspective.html. the advancement has been used to reinforce in vivid pictures. like the media. Besides CNN. there is no point using it. which has built some credibility for reporting to the world about the world. Media representations of Africa use disaster images instead of using useful knowledge and African perspectives to capture attention. http://www. The latest is the MSNBC. “Africa In the Western Media: Cycle of Contra-Positives and Selective Perceptions”. "America does not know Africa well. Africa has not benefited.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The aff.org/africa_westernmedia. he told me that stories on Africa are routinely ignored because of a presumed lack of reader interest. a process the media has a lot to do with. who acquired fame by reporting from the battle zones of Bosnia and Korsovo. I was nevertheless surprised to find that much of the little that came in was either "killed" or simply spiked for a more suitable publication date that never came. former Assistant Professor of International Communication & Media Law at the University of Liberia. the American broadcast stations reporting on international affairs target the American audience. which has made the regional Middle East conflict and the Afghanistan operation as a regular feature of their nightly news." he said. 2002) The technological revolution in international broadcasting . Thus. as well as penetrating the secluded domains of power in Iran and similar places. When I asked an editor to explain these decisions. MSNBC's Ashley Banfield has become the company's version of CNN's Christianne Amanpour. Wars and disasters are telecast to the world as they happen.

suffering becomes infotainment—just another commodity. So only a few elite media outlets emphasize such coverage. “Compassion Fatigue : How the Media Sell Disease.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The media caters to the populations demand. the Cambodian massacre made people forget Sinai and so on and so forth. let the media give you even more staccato bursts of news. How they typically cover crises helps us to feel overstimulated and bored all at once.” said Robert Kaiser.” yes. ‘You think that’s bad? You should see what’s down in Niger.” As Milan Kundera wrote in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. the media pay their way through selling advertising. . “Compassion Fatigue : How the Media Sell Disease. In that cultural context.” that sign that the short attention span of the public is up. “is to sustain interest in a story like Bosnia. pain is commercialized. diluted and distorted. “If we’ve just been in Africa for three months. war in Bosnia. until ultimately everyone lets everything be forgotten.” But in reality. This is what desensitizes the world to all suffering Moeller 99 (Susan. and I know they’re lying but I don’t mind. War and Death” 1999.” The media are alert to the first signs in their audience of the compassion fatigue “signal.” “When we do the readership surveys. So with relief.” admitted UPI foreign editor Bob Martin.” said CBS News foreign editor Allen Alter.” But that type of coverage is expensive as well as space. Conventional wisdom says Americans have a short attention span. “and somebody says. Everybody’s Africa’d out for the moment. “The more bizarre the story. and even they frequently lapse into quick once-over reporting. page 35-37) What does it mean when we become blasé about the pictures we see? Images of suffering and disaster— from pictures of the grieving Princes William and Harry to photos of the flattened Mercedes in the Paris tunnel—are appropriated to appeal emotionally to readers and viewers. If the news shows prompt us to equate chronic famine with chronic fatigue syndrome we are somewhat relieved. Our experience and our understanding of a crisis is weakened.to them its entertaining.’ well. There is. hyped and wired to feed your addiction. “We give you the world. As The New York Times columnist Max Frankel says. Famine. Famine. It helps absolve us of responsibility for what we see and can do little about. But the media are not parents. “People say they’re interested and appreciate it. “you put the news in and people just aren’t going to read it and you have to say the hell with it. the assassination of Allende drowned out the groans of Bangladesh. The point in covering international affairs is to make the world fascinating—or at least acceptably convenient: “News you can use. which a lot of people just don’t want to hear about.” The affirmative uses their disaster pornography to entertain themselves. It is not that there’s not good. When problems in the news can’t be easily or quickly solved—famine in Somalia. former managing editor of The Washington Post.” Crises are turned into a social experience that we can grasp. So the operating principle behind much of the news business is to appeal to an audience—especially a large audience—with attractive demographics for advertisers. responsible reporting out there. another moment of pain to get its minute or column in the news.their only interest is what will sell most Moeller 99 (Susan. they’re bored.” said Yuenger. “Conflict is our favorite kind of news. The print and broadcast media are part of the entertainment industry—an industry that knows how to capture and hold the attention of its audience. it’s going to be hard for me to go back. It rarely shows enough bang for the buck. assistant professor in the philip merrill college of journalism at the university of Maryland. not selling the news. “The bloody massacre in Bangladesh quickly covered over the memory of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia. assistant professor in the philip merrill college of journalism at the university of Maryland.and time-consuming. but in 15-second news briefs. Is your attention span short? Well then. It’s fine. we forget and go on with our everyday lives—until some other crisis image seizes our attention for a second. “the more it’s going to get played. War and Death” 1999. she would step in to try to teach patience and the rewards of sticktoitiveness. former foreign editor with the Chicago Tribune. wedged between the advertisements for hemorrhoid remedies and headache medicines. But I think it’s an opportunity for people to claim to be somewhat better citizens than they are. comprehensive. A parent would not accept that pronouncement on a child.” With but a few exceptions. the war in the Sinai Desert made people forget Allende. In this case they are more like the neighborhood kid who is the bad influence on the block. mass murder of the Kurds—attention wanders off to the next news fashion. “Sometimes. page 9-10) It’s the media that are at fault. foreign news always scores high. “What’s hardest.” said the late Jim Yuenger. Those relatively few news outlets that consider international news to be of even remote interest to their target audiences try to make the world accessible.

. for that matter. . were also increasingly in the business of creating wants. John B." According to the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the affirmative’s façade to win the round. 417-455] This is a startling phrase—"delicious horror.3. What were they selling? In addition to a sense of virtue. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. however. enticing —"appealing. which places aid second to winning the ballot. . articulated and disseminated most thoroughly by an emerging advertising industry): the quality of being attractive." This was an exciting prospect for advertisers who marveled at the returns to be had if they could only master the "the power of suggestion. these organizations were trading in thrills. The term is often used by him as a synonym for 'selling argument' ." The producers of the Minneapolis show certainly intuited that to raise money they needed both to please and appall audiences with shocking images of destruction and misfortune. Since the late nineteenth century." The horror seems straightforward enough (though it is worth reminding ourselves that while revulsion is undoubtedly the dominant modern response to suffering. American Quarterly 55. was an exciting show about destruction and suffering expected to part audiences from their charity dollars? A connection is implied in the very word we use to describe an entreaty for charitable donations: "appeal.' when to send out appeal letters so as to catch contributors in the most responsive mental attitude. it is not as natural as one might suppose). assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. significantly. appeal. American psychologists had "discovered" the awesome power of irrational instinctive impulses and had abandoned the Kantian moral philosophy that sought the springs to ethical action in reason and judgment. In an age of mass media and marketing." Thus it is that charity organizations call upon donors for contributions. Now. Watson was only the most notable member of a profession that had come to suspect that a proper science of human nature (behavioral psychology) could actually bestow extraordinary powers to manipulate "irrational" emotions. It seems that a closer connection exists between the appalling and the appealing than most accounts of humanitarianism have recognized. Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. the word "appeal" is adapted from the Latin "appelare" which means "to call upon." But it was also a tantalizing prospect for humanitarian fundraisers who were increasingly interested in the "psychology of the appeal": The advertiser has coined a word of his own which has the same meaning as . stimulus as here used. . Delicious Horrors. "what sort of paid advertising pays and how to get newspaper publicity for nothing by furnishing 'human interest stories. Delicious Horrors. namely. . This was initially alarming to social engineers who worried that an unreasonable citizenry might prove resistant to education and uplift. relief officials and welfare workers also needed to know. 417-455] At the beginning of the century. It was beginning to appear that human behavior itself could be "conditioned." and so forth. the word has also carried another meaning (one that was.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Their stimulus of emotions create a control of the advertiser over the desires of the public. But it is the purported deliciousness of suffering that poses the most disquieting questions. Representations of suffering shift the focus from a call to altruistic action to a desire to consume suffering. 4Humanitarian organizations. What is so appetizing about depictions of pain and discomfort? What makes images of suffering thrilling? And why. American Quarterly 55. It is the function of the appeal to awaken or arouse the desire in the mind of the individual and to put in action the behavior mechanisms which will lead to the satisfaction of the desire. But by the time of the Great War. if the desire aroused can be satisfied only by the purchase of advertiser's goods his aim has been accomplished. gambling correctly that audiences so captivated would contribute generously to the relief of San Francisco. then. Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. in Brandt's words.3.

In many instances.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Western Media isn’t even interested in correctly depicting Africans.org/africa_westernmedia. .the images create a false perception of Africa as a crude underdeveloped wasteland Kromah 02 (Alhaji G.theperspective. Western media practitioners present fatalistic and selectively crude images of Africa to prove to their already misinformed audiences that they have visited the continent or are knowledgeable about its activities. 2002) For the purposes of this discussion. http://www. The Perspective. former Assistant Professor of International Communication & Media Law at the University of Liberia.V.html. April 30. I shall highlight British and American media environments to explore the problem. it would be helpful to capture some of the complications that derive from the lack of energy many Western news reporters demonstrate in ascertaining the real identities of their African subjects. And in this framework. “Africa In the Western Media: Cycle of Contra-Positives and Selective Perceptions”.

deplorability. These "universal" but powerfully subliminal message units. http://www. her continent. and other niches in the U. elephant and rhinoceros populations were facing certain extinction because foreign consumers. if any. commissions. the African. until the ban on ivory importation. produce minimal income and royalties. little is said about Africa's strategic importance to so called industrialized nations. African unique textile designs are now bootlegged or blatantly copied by other international economic and globally marketing groups. animism. pestilence. her indispensability and relevance to world development.S and world art and craft consumer market. Western industrial capacity would wither much like a "raisin in the sun". foreboding. war. etc. poverty. Even less is communicated via the media or anywhere else about the incalculable volume of African art and crafts that end up in private collections and museums: books. Without access to certain raw materials from Africa. and artistic publications. for Africans creating such works of art. perennially problematic unworthiness. exhibitions.upenn. shows. are not acclaimed in the media. Mega profits are gained by expatriate marketers in royalties. and ubiquitous images of children. connote something not good. famine. loathing. primitivism. black. movies. mainly in Asia. global technology.edu/Workshop/chavis98. their stomachs distended. . flies in their food and faces. The amorphous news spin is America has to protect her strategic interests and national security. demanded their tusks for medicinal purposes and aphrodisiacs. beamed at global television audiences. Sadly. calendars. and the wealth of nations. sub humanity. derived from involuntary African largesse. U Penn.africa. and her descendants are pejoratively reduced to nothing: a bastion of disease. documentaries. On the other hand. savagery. Chavis 98 [Rod. despotism.html] With the stroke of a journalist's pen.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Representations of Africa create it as worthless and sub human.

Did such hype save one life? . Subsequent research has rebuffed such unsubstantiated theory.html] Early inquiry into and pontification about the origin of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) contraindicated any origin for the disease other than out of Africa.africa.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn All narratives of AIDS inscribe it as internal to Africa – This serves to frame Africa as the sick continent. just recently. information that has not been thoroughly documented or researched prior to reporters and journalists rushing to meet press deadlines? Investigative reports by the broadcast and print media have devoted talent and monetary resources to influencing and shaping world opinion: AIDS came out of Africa. an article appeared in a local newspaper citing DNA studies of a man in Zaire who had AIDS in 1959. Chavis 98 [Rod.edu/Workshop/chavis98. U Penn. http://www. Is it prudent for the scientific and medical research community to find someone or thing to blame AIDS on or would resources better be used to develop public education campaigns as well as prevention and intervention strategies that together will eliminate the threat of AIDS to future populations anyplace on the planet? Does the scourge of AIDS restrict itself to national or international borders or territories? Does it selectively kill? What do the media gain by spreading dubious information. However.upenn.

photographers and academics to reignite the debate. Africa Watch.alertnet. Issue 61. Africa isn’t even in the top 20. http://www. Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal. Somali doctors and nurses have expressed shock at the conduct of film crews in hospitals. “Aid workers lament rise of 'development pornography'”. leaping over stretchers. we are told. These images do not represent reality and justifies unwarranted intervention. Winter. with foreign angels of mercy ministering to starving children. "Many children in the UK simply don't believe there are cars. but still perpetuate a colonial idea of incapable Africans waiting passively for help from their white saviours. or my child's picture. and the effect of HIV/AIDS on the agricultural labour force are all part of the dynamic mix of factors affecting local communities. co-directors of African Rights] In the vanguard of the Marines. the impact of an urban bias for access to services. Staff writer for AlertNet. Photogenic starving children are hard to find. juxtaposed with images of trigger-happy teen-age looters.php?link_id=4059&slink_id=3464&link_type=12&slink_type=12&tmpl_id=3) A striking piece of information relating to the vulnerability of marginalised communities in Africa is that of the 20 most severe famines of the 20th century. none occurred in Africa.a perception of vulnerability is what the aff exploits Jooma 06 (Mariam. Omaar and De Waal 93[Disaster Pornography from Somalia." wrote the organisers of a recent conference in London to commemorate the 1984 famine in Ethiopia. the paparazzi trampled on children as they scrambled to film her feeding a little girl-three times. a freelance writer and editor. Pete Davis of Oxfam's education department said the repetition of certain types of images helped shape public assumptions. They rush through crowded corridors. dusty place without food or hope. who was involved in the 1980s debate about famine pictures.htm.za/index. "You have to think: 'Would I like my picture." he said. increasing desertification of land. even in Somalia. How then did Africa become the poster-child for media depictions of hunger? A focus on the underlying causes of vulnerability. "The media coverage of the Ethiopian famine was a watershed for how aid agencies thought about images of disasters. reducing a continent of 57 countries. the press corps had already stormed Somailia. cities or mobile phones in Africa. "Part of the Live Aid legacy has been the equation of famine with Africa and Africa with famine.co. taken like this?'" said van der Gaag." Critics say Western newspapers have been full of undignified images of women and children alongside articles and appeals related to Niger's 2005 food crisis. Researcher with the th African Security Analysis Program at the Institute for Security Studies. nearly 900 million people and numerous disparate cultures to a single." The "Imaging Famine" conference brought together aid workers.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Exploitation of food crisis is afro-pessimistic disaster porn at its worst. They say such pictures are not quite as bad as images from Ethiopia in 1984 that showed matchstickthin wrists of black babies dwarfed by white hands.14 Sep 2005) "It's got worse in the last 10 years. "The idea that pervades is that Africa is a broken. But anyone who has watched a Western film crew in an African famine will know just how much effort it takes to compose the "right" image. “Africa in 2006: The Humanitarian Hangover?”. Of the the most sever famines in the 20 century. http://www." The Aff’s representations of Africans degraded humans create interveners as foreign angels. . impoverished place. "There's a whole new generation of people working in NGOs who've never had this debate before.org/thefacts/reliefresources/112669283410. media representatives. The camera can't lie. Center for Media Literacy. They hold bedside vigils to record the moment of death." said Nikki van der Gaag. Now we will see more of the famailiar pictures of grotesque human degradation.reducing over 900 million people to one impoverished sub-human group Gidley 05 (Ruth. This is disaster pornography. such as the reduction of ‘networks of affection’ that are linked to macro-economic adjustments. Such pictures prompted President Bush's military adventure-now they will justify it.iss. When the Italian actress Sophia Loren visited Somalia. dashing to film the agony before it passes.

emotive messages of starving children – “disaster pornography” – and the messy. But everyone can relate to powerful images of starving babies. prime time slots.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The motivation of the Affirmative analogous to the media in that they only desire to exploit the suffering of the Sudanese crisis in order to win a debate round Toolis 99 (Kevin. “Hungry for the Truth”.org. confused political reality of disasters induced by war. a features writer for The Guardian. . even awards. http://www. What Omaar is pointing to is a largely untold contradiction that underpins the Famine Business and the news reporting of it. Journalists obviously benefit from bylines.uk/articles/hungry-for-the-truth/ 9 April 1999) Omaar’s criticism could also apply to the media – which is instrumental in uncritically promoting the NGO charities’ message that all aid is good. It is the contradiction between the simplistic. The charities benefit not only from the stream of donations from the public. And it is in the institutional interests of journalists and NGOs to repeat this simple message.developments. but also from the flow of Government funds that are released in the wake of public concern. No one can explain the complexities of Sudanese politics in three minutes of prime time television.

wars. "Pictures of children contribute to a set of narratives about childhood which are threaded through different cultural forms. peering out of the darkness toward the cameras. "Like canaries down a coal mine. and sympathy for. but only feasts on negative pictures of African children on TV? Patricia Holland. New Vision (Ugandan Journal). Nakanjako 06[Prossy Nakanjako. war. children often give the first indication that something is going wrong.2. disease. child-to-child murders are interpreted as a sign of moral breakdown. Yes. Who gains from pictures of suffering children?. But instead. drought and earthquakes. playing 'hideand-seek' or football." wrote one author. If no beautiful pictures of Africa are shown. What these images frequently accomplish is not to create rapport but to reduce refugees to a part of their bodies--their eyes wide open--in an attempt to symbolize their plight. children are seen as innocent. suffering African children on television have delivered the atrocities. often a child. epidemics. And when it comes to disasters. The use of children to epitomize plight creates a relationship of victim to spectator. If childhood is viewed as a 'golden age' full of innocence but vulnerable and therefore in need of adult protection. I did not see any pictures of smiling children from Africa. so what?" Social critics say that that negative pictures of African children aid fulfil the stereotype of Africa in the West. Child malnutrition offers the most common index to famine. culture. the story attempts to transform them into portraits that convey a condensed tell-all version of the conflict. famine etc infested continent where development has eluded the lives of many people. child prostitutes and soldiers indicate a society in crisis. In attempting to establish a connection between American viewers and the anonymous and voiceless refugee. In this space. news stories often use the eyes of children as points of entry into. and identity of Rwandan refugees is erased. "If we watch these documentaries about Africa's numerous ills. Universally. .Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Representations of helpless children define African culture as desperately in need of help and fulfill the stereotype of Africa from the occident. such as war. a memory I had from home. or someone begging on their behalf. the history. two Hutu children are displayed through a metal-framed window. and they are trapped in the incarcerated space of the television camera's caricature of their experience. as a poverty. In one particularly striking image. Rwandans. when commenting about the challenges of implementing children's rights in developing countries. what kind of conclusion does one expect from someone who has never been to any country in Africa. then negative pictures of African children portray a society that does not give proper care to their children. They are incarcerated by the metal frame of the object that protects them from violence. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. I saw only pictures of starving children from war-torn northern Uganda. 35-37] Many of the reports close with a single lasting image that asks the television viewer to look into the eyes of an individual refugee. lonely and helpless children deliver to those who feast on them in the West? Or. children and women are considered to be a vulnerable category in society." What kind of narratives then. a child being disruptive at school may be the first sign of a family at war. do pathetic images of hungry. television viewers are encouraged to view crisis through children's eyes. author of Picturing Childhood says that. and droughts in many African countries right to the living rooms of even those Western citizens who do not know where the continent is exactly located. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. unaware of their tattered clothes. Oloya's question. to throw back Mr. AIDS orphans from South Africa begging to be helped. and to see Africa itself as incarcerated space on the far side of the television news camera. Childrens Rights Activist. The effect of such images is to establish a relationship between the refugee "victim" and the American citizen as spectator. October 26] For months. I did not see pictures of children happily running around. drawing on every possible source to construct stories that become part of cultural competence. by framing their faces. famines. immaculate of the injustices of the world. In doing so. Africa Today 48. pg. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. In the end. Experience is captured in one frame which erases culture and identity.

and reconstitute cultural identities and consciousness (1995: 232-58. These images. are nothing new.2. Yet. of working for their own improvement. Africa Today 48. see also Thayer 1998). Fair 1996. such portrayals fail to recognize that camps are often sites where displaced groups dynamically stake out new allegiances. In stories that use images of Rwandans confined to camps. western relief workers organizing camp life. Girardet 1996). of course. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of CaliforniaSanta Barbara. . In short. government officials of various states. What these images accomplish is to deny refugee camp dwellers the possibility of political agency. refugees are acted upon by outsiders--international relief workers. and journalists--who have the power to determine the conditions in which refugees live. soldiers protecting one interest or another. Relief workers by far are the most frequently used sources for stories. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. 35-37] Perhaps the most common images featured in news stories of campsites are of white. news accounts repeatedly show the good deeds done by relief workers. as Malkki suggests. pg. and providing food aid to refugees. create new histories. tending to the medical needs of refugees. They are the stock from which western paternalism has fed itself (Malkki 1995. the amount of food they receive.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Images of relief workers strip individuals of agency and reinforces western paternalism Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. and their ability to reside in camps.

africa. compared to other reporting and spin tactics. like racism in America. http://www. U Penn. find nothing of value to report when Africa is the subject-and a sound byte at that? The media industry practice of consistently practicing the opposite is deeply troubling.upenn. Chavis 98 [Rod. and other gatherers of news.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Representations of African ethnic groups as “tribes” ground them as systemically negative. wire services. . is systemic? Can the news chroniclers. caribou herding Europeans of similar physical stature are referred to as Laplanders? Why were the Sans People (South Africa) renamed Hottentot? Can one conclude that negative reportage of events in Africa.edu/Workshop/chavis98. media organizations. residing in "jungles" designated pygmies while northern. by major news organizations.html] Why is it "ethnicity" in Bosnia or Kosovo and "tribe" in Africa? Why are certain African cultural groups.

which are written in English—but are carried by citizens of China or Croatia or Chechnya. our national attention span starts to lag. We like our villains to be foreign and our heroes home-grown. complicated involvements far from home.S. It is one thing to respond with American skill and generosity to a human disaster. Girardet 1996. benevolence. By those standards.S. assistant professor in the philip merrill college of journalism at the university of Maryland. War and Death” 1999.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Even as they aid Africa. “Compassion Fatigue : How the Media Sell Disease. ABC's Ted Koppel explained: Maybe it's a natural outgrowth of the age of television.S. 35-37] U. Famine. because clearly the natives are unworthy or the issue or event is. The west becomes separate and benevolent and refuses to actively engage the circumstances. stories with a definable beginning and a predictable end.S. to American cultural icons—and if it doesn’t or can’t it is not worth the bother. news organizations' earlier experiences. which permits journalists to ignore questions about how historical and contemporary western involvement contributes to current problems (Hawk 1992. the West is made separate and distant from Africa. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. and Koehl 1996). Tossing aid justifies our inaction to structural changes. fly in the food and the medicine. What we do not like are long. Fair 1996. “Give me liberty or give me death. in which America's good intentions are misunderstood. the affirmative caters to America. Africa Today 48. demonstrated that at least for a few weeks U. news viewers would be content to watch the pain and suffering of others as long as the story remained an uncomplicated one of U.2. As a result. Speaking of how the U. This is a fact well-known yet rarely acknowledged. open-ended. pg. they just want to feel good. Klak. set up the water purification plans. The aff has no long term solvency. but we do prefer to keep our crises simple. But at that point. Jr. Americans are terribly preoccupied with themselves.” The lone man defying the Chinese authorities by standing in front of the line of tanks was for us another Patrick Henry shouting. Peoples in other countries know that when they use Western icons to help define their struggles the West pays greater attention.feeding the citizens reasons why the world must subscribe to America and adhere to our culutre Moeller 99 (Susan.” We take for granted the placards quoting Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King. Myers. Focusing on pain and suffering in far off places allows us to maintain a distance and superiority. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Would our interest in those events have been as great without those signifiers? We draw historical parallels and make cultural connections between our world and that of the “other. So the student democracy movement in Tiananmen Square made sure to carry their Statue of Liberty in front of the cameras and protesters outside an Indonesian courtroom sang the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” while facing the microphones. and must subscribe. The Americanization of events makes the public feel that the world subscribes. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. Media consumers are tied to a tether of cultural images. If people are no longer dying at the rate of 2000 a day . particularly in Ethiopia and Somalia. build the roads. page 14-15) The Americanization of crises also plays into this proclivity. Simplifying humanitarian stories for domestic audiences in terms of what the West is doing for Africans allows journalists and news consumers alike to assume a certain superiority. media simplified its Rwandan coverage.. we will not much like even our limited involvement in Rwanda.

because few U. Hence. The problem with the Rwandan genocide story was that reporters at the outset were unable to make clear distinctions as to which side was good or bad. news media had to scramble to gain entry into a country where conditions were deteriorating rapidly. Media attempts to peg events neatly as one tribe pitted against another demanded that reporters be able to identify which tribal side U. This ambiguity caused the genocide story to receive far less coverage than subsequent movements of thousands of refugees into settlement camps in 1995 and 1996 (Minear et al. reporters were dropped into a region where they knew little. Organizationally. . Murison 1996. the Rwandan genocide was not a "good" news story for many news organizations. Somalia. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. coverage of Rwanda's 1994 genocide was challenging. audiences should support.S.S.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Media framing of genocide frame violence through stereotypes of primordial tribalism for the sake of audiences. and where their own government advocated disinterested noninvolvement. Africa Today 48. Ethiopia. ). 1996. television audiences to digest. scarce resources for international reporting had to be redirected from regions thought to be of greater geopolitical and/or cultural interest to American consumers. uncontrollable primordial tribalism that drove Hutus and Tutsis to murder. such as Uganda.S. De Waal 1997). and Sudan-that characterized the genocide in Rwanda as the result of some inexplicable. pg. Journalists relied on stereotypes--thoroughly tested by news organizations in stories set in other African countries. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara.S. Logistically. 35-37] For media organizations. Journalistically. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. The framing of news coverage of the Rwandan genocide as localized Hutu-Tutsi warfare made news reports simpler to produce and easier for U. Still. reporting on the Rwandan genocide was typical of coverage of Africa generally.2. U.S. U. newsgroups support regular reporting from Africa and still fewer operate bureaus on the continent.

while gleefully parading its genocides. “But you look well fed. armed conflicts.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The Western media exploits Africa to perpetuate the false ideal that all Africans are subject to atrocities Olujobi 06 (Gbemisola “The Africa You Need to Know” http://www. heart surgeries. cellphones. which had considerably dulled my reflexes.com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/ . I recently found myself making small talk with an airport official in the United States. that they don’t have anything to eat. people are very poor and hungry. not knowing exactly what a correct response should be.” he said.” he said. “I hear in Africa. with flies all over their faces. disease and backwardness... child soldiers. scanning my generous proportions. 2006) What is disaster pornography? Africans define it as the Western media’s habit of blacking out Africa’s stock markets. and there were all these hungry people.. My situation was not helped by 22 hours of travel. I replied hesitantly. .” Yeah.truthdig. Posted on Nov 28. hunger. foreign debts. soaring literacy and increasing democratization. “I saw a documentary on Africa a few days ago on CNN. dying children.

” Far from picking up good English. harassed mothers. I have a background of solid British education. nothing I had said could erase the “huge expanse of waste” picture of Africa from his mind.” His next question was. deprivation. disease.] He was quite taken aback when I showed him a few naira notes [Nigerian currency]. I tell them. banditry. I don’t blame him. brigandage. all that the Western media seem to be keen on showing the West about Africa is backwardness. I also don’t blame some of my American friends when they ask me how I “picked up such good English. want. Goodness! .com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/ . My country. child soldiers. gang-raped girls. Olujobi 06 (Gbemisola “The Africa You Need to Know” http://www. what is the problem with Africa?” Clearly. slaughter fields. balanced and accurate information. flies feasting on the living and vultures waiting to devour the neardead. All they show is disaster. was a British colony until 1960. wasted children. Neither do I blame another official at a different airport who asked me if Africans keep their cowries in banks. “But. Rather than educate and enlighten by disseminating fair. Nigeria. Posted on Nov 28. hunger. [Editor’s note: Cowries are shells that were used as mediums of exchange in parts of Africa.truthdig.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The Aff constantly perpetuates ignorant depictions of African people via atrocity exploitation. 2006) My short lecture had no effect whatsoever on my “student. No one should blame these people or anyone else who displays such profound ignorance about Africa.

. not in any new way or fresh revelations.. You never see Africans helping themselves.theperspective.” Their Excellencies examined the record of coverage of some of America’s most distinguished publications—The New York Times. April 30. considering the fact that many of them had more than enough to do with Africa’s present sorry state. chaos and outright anarchy. and thus leading to continued ‘exotification’ and marginalization of the African continent. beleaguered by pestilence. thus betraying an almost contemptuous lack of interest in the potential and progress being achieved on the continent. Diversity & Race: Confronting (Mis) Representations of Africa in the US Media” also highlights the same thread. corruption. by the leading sources of American media is. In Somalia and elsewhere. stories about Africa are looked at with these negative lenses. Center for Media Literacy] Influenced first by colonialism and then by Cold War politics. and U. dismissive of the continent’s progress and potential. The Washington Post.” The structural lens of western representations of Africa is a negative one.truthdig. I suggest. 2002) The persistent phenomenon of how the Western Media have continued to treat Africa negatively is as topical today as it was nearly two decades ago when many Africans and other aggrieved proponents campaigned for the adoption of a new world information order as the best corrective approach. starvation. a place of fear and futility . news reports show white people feeding black people. that the problem about Western media reporting on Africa goes beyond professional inadequacies and structural bias. As I learned very quickly in the U. Even more unfortunately.S. “The dominant images of Africa in American mainstream media are of a dark and desolate continent. Makunike 93[Ezekiel Makunike. former Assistant Professor of International Communication & Media Law at the University of Liberia. as in the case of Somalia. The Wall Street Journal. poverty and disease. this contemptuous tone has long shaped and fashioned Western media perceptions of Africa. reporters and editors with a broader vision run the risk of having their stories disbelieved and unused. Out of Africa: Media Stereotypes Shape Images.com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/ . From newsgathering in Africa to publication and broadcast thousands of miles away. “Africa In the Western Media: Cycle of Contra-Positives and Selective Perceptions”.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The affirmative perpetuation of the media’s negative perception of Africa as a whole limits progressive politics and spreads a false image of what Africa is Olujobi 06 (Gbemisola “The Africa You Need to Know” http://www. It must show misery. USA Today. The Perspective.html. News & World Report. Western media perpetuates afro-pessimism via disaster porn Kromah 02 (Alhaji G. news out of Africa must be negative. They therefore concluded that “the findings of this (and other) surveys indicate that coverage of Africa. riven by tribal conflict. Foreign correspondents in African capitals and their superiors in the media gate-keeping chain seem to have these perceptions ingrained in them.S. Posted on Nov 28.of despair and depression. At worst. of a lost people languishing in a lost land somewhere beyond the edge of modern civilization. http://www. . 2006) Hugh Hamilton in “Ownership. They reviewed these publications over a 10-year period—from 1994 to 2004—and “found their coverage of the continent to be anything but fair and balanced. primitive surroundings and.” Such an incredible labor of love. Socio-cultural factors have continued to account significantly for the stereotyping archetype. which has remained a hallmark of Western collection and dissemination of information about Africa. It must conform to the traditional stereotypes in its spotlight on grotesque and sensational events. Little wonder they learn to toe the expected line. Former Zimbabwe Director of Information. All reports have to conform to the traditional stereotypes of grotesque images.org/africa_westernmedia. at best. coverage disregards recent trends toward democratization.V. for American readers or viewers to be interested. mismanagement.

detailed.com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/ . Failure to address this issue will contribute to an increase in Afro-pessimism in America. development and conflict. surveyed two of the most esteemed newspapers in the United States—The New York Times and The Washington Post—between March and August 2000. but not ongoing active efforts at conservation. Posted on Nov 28. The study concluded that “one would have expected the New York Times and the Washington Post to make an effort to inform American citizens and policymakers in a much more balanced.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The Aff’s exploitation of suffering and conflict through newsbites instead of actual analysis is the main contributor to Afro-pessimism in America Olujobi 06 (Gbemisola “The Africa You Need to Know” http://www.” ..S. but not the rejuvenation of its cities and the cultural vitality of its village life . economic self-help and political development . The study found no reports on regional economic or political cooperation in Africa. 2006) Ezekiel Makunike addresses the same concerns in “Out of Africa: Western Media Stereotypes Shape Images. a body which aims to influence U.truthdig. Its study showed that the vast majority of news stories fell within only three categories—AIDS. and fair manner.” “We hear about famines and coups. but not education. reforestation and environmental awareness. nor one article on the private sector... policy on Africa and the diaspora. about oppression and massacres..” The TransAfrica Forum. about poaching and habitat destruction.

he feels he must cut himself off from his family. the romantic falls back on his own emotions. In his act of martyrdom. to "cease to exist" for them. Faced with entrenched inequality. soonest mended.isil."8 Keats. the English poet John Keats visited the city of Belfast in northern Ireland. his own thoughts. disease.edu/journals/spiritus/v004/4. and the impossibility of social change."9 But Keats' despair at how this suffering might be alleviated gives way to an acceptance of life's unavoidable hardships. the martyr has simply made his own troubled conscience disappear by a sleight of hand. and to create a world in which equal rights included the right to wellbeing and happiness. Since the turn of the century. Unable to do anything about an impending crisis. The scenes that met his eye are pretty much the same that a traveller encounters in many Third World cities today. as if this increase in anxiety will make some real difference. But it is a turn that is born of a frustration to change the world politically. of Anthropology at Univ of Copenhagen) But men like Jean-Jacques Rousseau. and deprivations that moved them so deeply. "Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul?" he wrote to his brother George in 1819.uq. as if silence will make the event go away—a view contained in the English saying "Least said. Unable to stop thinking about a traumatic event. Robert Owen. donning the sackcloth of those he had set out to save. and pollution could not be ignored. and the intensification of urban misery. of course. then. Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality. rural poverty and the effects of the Industrial Revolution had "sucked so many people into Belfast that its population had expanded by 50 per cent. and John Adams. What was it. "What a tremendous difficulty. urban poverty and misery was equally ubiquitous and unavoidable. Jackson 04 (Michael. "the abject and degrading misery" of slavery and African-American labor "was present everywhere. a person may faint. observing that this "system of salvation" was very different from Christianity. when action on the world around us proves impossible. travelling with a close friend.1jackson. Vincent confesses that his "only [End Page 49] anxiety is: how can I be of use in the world?" At this time he is preparing himself to be an evangelist among the coal miners of the Borinage region. One such strategy is to magic the problem away by merging oneself with it—identifying so completely with the misery around you that the boundary between oneself and the object of one's concern is effectively dissolved. goes hungry and cold. overcrowding. his own suffering—what Coleridge called "inner goings-on" and Luc Boltanski calls a "metaphysics of interiority. ." he wrote his brother Tom. crowded with youngsters from rural areas seeking their fortune or people displaced by war. pain. a person may refuse to speak of it. and gives the little he has to peasants and workers. Unable to win an argument.westga."13 That is to say. http://muse. we have recourse to action on our own emotions and thoughts."12 and Sartre calls "magical action. was deeply troubled by the suffering he saw. Van Gogh provides a poignant example of this empathic identification. Writing to his brother Theo in the winter of 1880. he ends up seeking to annihilate his anguish by steeping himself in the suffering around him. though exposed to the spectacle of mass suffering.au." en masse. [End Page 48] In 1818. The Prose of Suffering and the Practice of Silence. as well as the right to decide how one was governed? For the Americans." Time does not allow me to review all these magical strategies. the dense concentrations of people in cities. In order to commit himself body and soul to the poor. But trying to become one with the oppressed doesn’t help them.edu. All it does is wish away our feelings of guilt. did not themselves suffer the hardships. prof. meant that the effects of poverty. a person may worry himself sick about it. and it is possible that their revolutionary thinking was driven as much by the sheer awfulness of coexisting with such large numbers of distressed human beings as by enlightenment and compassion. Thomas Jefferson.ts."11 This turn to inwardness is.'"10 Subtly. west of Mons.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The desire to empathize with the oppressed and give aid is how we compensate with images of misery.html. Unable to flee an assailant. that drove these men to want to alleviate the suffering of "the people. But who is helped by this self-abasing sympathy? What good can come of this identification with the oppressed? Vincent feels imprisoned and melancholic. and did not "affront our reason and humanity. But nothing is really changed. Tom Paine. "is the improvement of the condition of such people—I cannot conceive how a mind 'with child' of Philosophy could gra[s]p at possibility—with me it is absolute despair. and a fascination with how one might "convert the brutal facts of life into perceptions which might 'do the world some good. characteristic of romanticism. Frustrated in his efforts to alleviate the misery of humankind. a person may resort to verbally abusing his opponent. thereby transforming the way we experience the world. This situation reflected the changes that had taken place in Europe as a result of industrialization. the desire to reform a barbarous social system is tempered by a more fervent desire to transmute the suffering around him into a form that improves his own soul. Charles Brown. but a brief summary of two may be helpful. He neglects his appearance. By the 18th century."7 For European intellectuals.

pulp magazines. 417-455] Scott's experience raises two questions: What exactly made suffering so interesting to audiences in this period? And. It was thus quite appropriate for charity workers to borrow marketing strategies from movies. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College.3. fundraisers would have to devote as much attention to advertising as to ethics. From this point on. A careful look at charitable publications over this formative period discloses surprising similarities in the presentation and consumption of charity texts and the pulp magazines. American Quarterly 55. 417-455] Charity organizations took full advantage of the opportunities presented by the new mass culture of movies and mass-circulation newspapers to beguile the public into "acts of benevolence. In so doing they were moving humanitarianism further out of the moral realm and into the "dream world of mass consumption"—turning philanthropy itself into a consumerist activity. American Quarterly 55. they began to imagine donors in much the same way that advertisers were imagining consumers: emotional. I hope to enhance our understanding of the social and emotional scaffolding of modern philanthropy. philanthropic institutions found themselves competing with commercial ventures in a (sensationalistic) mass culture for the attention of the public. . The culture of imagery creates philanthropy into a commercial activity and individuals as participants in a dream world of mass consumption Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. advertisements. (and significantly) female. why did charity officials suspect that a sensational interest in suffering might be an asset in their quest to cultivate compassion? Against the dominant critical view of sensationalism and humanitarianism as distinct and competing cultural developments. it was only when philanthropy became a marketing venture and when donors began to be treated and courted as consumers who had to be entertained that philanthropy could become a mass phenomenon. I will contend in this essay that modern "humanitarianism" is in fact a creation of a sensationalistic mass culture. My main concern here will be with the second decade of the twentieth century. the moment when humanitarianism became a mass phenomenon and when charity organizations developed the fundraising techniques (professional publicity departments and manipulative emotional appeals) that are still most familiar to us today. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Representations of suffering condemn aid to be at the will of market commodification. and to "entertainment" as to education. As it turns out. Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. more than ever. Indeed. By paying especially close attention to the content of the American Red Cross Magazine and its contribution to the emergence of the American Red Cross as the most important charity organization of the twentieth century. Delicious Horrors. and commercial movies of an increasingly entertainment-oriented mass culture. suggestible." Even as publicists at the YMCA and the Red Cross continued to speak warmly about the compassion and intelligence of their supporters.3. and popular dailies. I would argue that they were fully implicated in the dominant cultural project of the age: producing a society of consumers. Delicious Horrors. Now.

an appetite for sensory stimulation. Despite concerns that overly vivid dramatizations of the brutality of war might deter some men from enlisting. the CPI established a Division of Film to develop and distribute thrilling war films that were expected to encourage citizens to enlist or to buy liberty bonds. Delicious Horrors. The movies. Given that movies were "especially good at conveying impressions of speed. not coincidentally. were often conflated with war aims) by making full use of the sensational mass media. was educating Americans how to see and feel suffering. In September 1917. and characterized by. thrills.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Depictions of suffering create our subjectivity to be based on stimulation. Recent critics have plausibly argued that mass culture engendered a distinctively "modern form of subjectivity. then it should hardly be a surprise to discover that philanthropic groups seeking to move public sentiment should have adapted to these new conditions." one shaped by." And audiences became so used to the "patriotic" screening of violence and suffering that the censorious mayor of New York who cut violent scenes from Griffith's propaganda film Hearts of the World was accused of being pro-German. framing. action and violence. Although Hollywood movies. they did—through such cues as music. Commercial motion picture companies took advantage of this new opening and were so successful at enticing millions of Americans into theaters to watch exciting (propagandistic) war films that the War Industries Board took the extraordinary step of recognizing hitherto "disreputable" Hollywood as an "essential industry. Mass culture. these movies proved very successful. By the time of the Armistice. Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. the war movie was the most successful type of film in the country. in practice. which was initially granted exclusive control over the distribution of government war films." cinematic representations of suffering unsurprisingly tended to emphasize spectacle and sentimentality over explication or context. Scott was dropping in on movie theaters throughout Alaska on his recruitment drive for the Red Cross. This accommodation with mass culture decisively transformed the humanitarian enterprise. 417-455] One notable and significant effect of the war was to erode Victorian prohibitions against showing brutality on screen. for agitation. . the horror movie was also emerging as a major genre. the very month that Robert H. and shocks. The American Red Cross. If this is so. meanwhile. shifting it into the orbit of the entertainment world. The war years disarmed opposition to public representations of violence thus changing the rules for portraying suffering in charitable publications. This creates simplistic moral perspectives that shroud explication or context. and even government newsreels. certainly hoped to promote humanitarian ideals (which. American Quarterly 55.3. did not depict the sufferings of war with any particular exactness. were transforming the way victims were imagined. feeding simplistic moral perspectives. in short. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. and quivering close-ups—shape the ways viewers responded emotionally to the sufferings of war.

the British General Michael Rose. Bosnia was suddenly transformed into a chaotic place in which ‘power-mad warlords’ acted out their historical traumas at the expense of innocent women and children . with the West assuming the role of the neutral judge elevated above local tribal conflicts. . 16-17 Apropos of a phantasmic scene. the question to be asked is thus always: for which gaze is it staged? Which narrative is it destined to support? According to some recently published documents. pg.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Exploiting atrocity is an empirical example of the Western attempt to intervene in ‘conflict’ to expand cultural capitalism Slavoj Zizek. is the pro-Serbian ‘insight’ according to which peace in Bosnia is possible only if we do not ‘demonize’ one side in the conflict: responsibility is to be equally distributed. Instead of a clear condemnation of the Serb aggression. for example. a civil war of everybody against everybody else in which ‘all sides are equally to blame’. and his special team of SAS operatives. their attempts to ‘mediate’ between Muslims and Croats actually inflamed the conflict between them. 1997.. definitely had a ‘hidden agenda’ in Bosnia: under the pretence of maintaining a truce between the so-called ‘warring factions’. some Serb bodies allegedly slaughtered by the Muslims. of course. their secret task was also to place the blame on the Croats. researcher at the institute of sociology at the university of Ljubljana.. Lurking in the background.). head of the UNPROFOR forces in Bosnia. From a sovereign state. The Plague of Fantasies. Rose’s operatives suddenly ‘discovered’. the victim of aggression. this perception was destined to prepare the terrain for an international effort of ‘pacification’ which would ‘reconcile the warring factions’. and especially the Muslims (soon after the fall of Srebrenica.. in northern Bosnia. these diversions were intended to create the perception of the Bosnian conflict as a kind of ‘tribal warfare’. etc.

in other words. of course. 1997. at the same time. can alleviate the suffering. Into this picture of utter gloom. Mother Teresa brings a ray of hope to the dejected with the message that poverty is to be accepted as a way to redemption. Again. since the poor. she offers the rich from the West the chance of a kind of substitute-redemption by making financial contributions to her charitable activity. which clearly rely on the phantasmic screen of the Third World. repeat Christ’s Way of the Cross The ideological benefit of this operation is double: in so far as she suggests to the poor and terminally ill that they should seek salvation in their very suffering.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Victim imagery exploits those suffering in order to promote mass consumption of these images. Calcutta is regularly presented as a Hell on Earth. in enduring their sad fate with silent dignity and faith. .. all this works against the background of the phantasmic image of the Third World as Hell on Earth. culturally much more thriving than Bombay. rather different: Calcutta is a city bursting with activity. 18 The same operation is easily discernible in the abundant media reports on the ‘saintly’ activities of Mother Teresa in Calcutta. as a place so utterly desolate that no political activity. violence and corruption. with a successful local Communist government maintaining a whole network of social services). with its residents caught in terminal apathy (the facts are. full of social decay. only charity and compassion. the exemplary case of the decaying Third World megalopolis.the ideology of capitalism Slavoj Zizek.2’ . pg. poverty... Mother Teresa deters them from probing into the causes of their predicament — from politicizing their situation. The Plague of Fantasies. researcher at the institute of sociology at the university of Ljubljana.

or is this logic just the predominant thrust of the modern productivist attitude of technological domination over and exploitation of nature? Or furthermore. its normal cycle (because of the continuous darkness. self-induced extinction or emancipation from the forces of social domination. but also of the fact that because of the El Niflo effect. (DRGOC/E244) We cannot be certain whether such an innate instinct for freedom exists but as Chomsky has stated. According to newspaper reports. since the fires were not simply the result of the ‘greed’ of local wood merchants and farmers (and of corrupt Indonesian state officials allowing it). we will only prove that humans are a lethal mutation. Malaysia and the southern Philippines derailed nature itself. it is first and foremost an engaged political intervention. the extraordinary drought did not end in the rains which regularily quench such fires. are the implications of this catastrophe? Are we dealing merely with the logic of Capital.org/news/2003/05/47400. however. if it is real. . Melbourne Indymedia.melbourne. is this very technological exploitation the ultimate expression. and the El Niflo effect is global. liberal-democratic multiculturalism. What. professor of philosophy at the university of Ljubljana. with two fundamental choices. anticapitalist political project in our era of global capitalism and its ideological supplement. the ridiculous inadequacy of their modest effort matched by the horror of seeing their entire life-world disappear. the realization of the deepest potential of modern Cartesian subjectivity itself? The author’s answer to this dilemma is the emphatic plea of ‘Not guilty!’ extinction Capitalism risks for the Cartesian subject.indymedia. 1999. pg. Here we have an example of the unconditional Real of global Capital perturbing the very reality of nature — the reference to global Capital is necessary here. an evolutionary dead end: by nurturing it. This catastrophe thus gives body to the Real of our time: the thrust of Capital which ruthlessly disregards and destroys particular life-worlds. we may find ways to deal with dreadful human tragedies and problems that are awesome in scale.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Capital’s destructive cycle will lead to the end of humanity Slavoj Zizek. 4 While this book is philosophical in its basic tenor. bees were unable to accomplish their part in the biological reproduction of plants). the gigantic cloud of smoke covering the entire area of northern Indonesia. One of the photos of 1997 was undoubtedly that of members of some indigenous tribe from Borneo carrying water in plastic bags to put out gigantic fires which were destroying their habitat. 2003. addressing the burning question of how we are to reformulate a leftist.php. http://www." These problems are so grave that we are left. threatening the very survival of humanity. contrary to the option offered by Washington of "hegemony or survival". p. Capitalism and indefinite human survival are incompatible. "by denying the instinct for freedom. May 13. not only for the reasons stated here. The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology.

" we flatter ourselves imagining African peoples as primitive or barbarous prior to European interference in her affairs.upenn. Usually. Yet. Chavis 98 [Rod. in the final analysis. artificial territorial boundaries across communal lands.. and that it is we who have civilized them. social. Africa herself projects warmth and welcome. It is an image again that is put on Africa by outsiders.. Mali and Nigeria had highly complex civilizations prior to European military intervention and colonial adventurism in Africa. primarily Europeans." Africa's contribution to European and world technological and later capitalistic development. and cultures were expropriated. whose abiding motivation is profit. http://www.The Empire of Ghana flourished during Europe's dark ages. create Africa's world image almost entirely to serve their capitalististic greed while simultaneously denigrating the continent's global image. U Penn. and resource deprivation or disadvantageous alliances with external imperialist. Miscreant behavior. economic. and economic dynamics. This "other" designation works always to the advantage of its creator. forced European acculturation.edu/Workshop/chavis98. was of no direct or collateral benefit to the indigenous owners. were sanctioned by every institution in the societies (of Europe) .Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Representations of Afropessimism create the continent as subservient to Western profit. exacted through infamous treaties and the concordat. etc. themselves. see no value in decimating these animal populations for profit. especially. An early historian noted. Africa's resources. That image is as dark as the pervasive fear conjured up in the their minds. the "other" is not sufficiently powerful to respond to media opprobrium because of political. safari. On the other hand. people. political.africa. Even this aspect of the African personality is cinematographic in that it appeals to the Western tourist's palette through its media: adventure. lands. and the Sun City like attractions. natural wonders. as well. those Western Media moguls. resulting in not just massive disruption of African people's cultural norms and values.. But it is theory that lacks historical foundation. who can find only the negative when Africa is the subject. big game hunting.html] Africans.

building. Balance is rarely evidenced. conjure up Richard Wright's classic Native Son or Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. epidemics. underdeveloped. Why is Zaire so poor. cobalt. For example.upenn. Modern media. West of the Mississippi. http://www. and descendancy.html) The press of those early Darwinian years and its successor today. word of mouth initially and now sophisticated. no history. and on and on it goes. many times. inter alia. third world. dark. a recent U.. coup d'e tat.africa. medicine. cannibal. is unequivocal: mathematics. instantaneously. jungle. globally reaching electronic news organizations. U Penn. systemic part of the earth and all its natural functions in accordance with universal laws. a country the size of the U. and its constituencies. no tradition. . has its origins and basis in Africa: Kemet (Egypt). and spirituality. an abyss and negative void. animism. new world order syndicates. are deeply troubling psychologically and emotionally. Her gifts to the world. tribalism. One needs surgical removal while the other should quietly accept his biblical destiny: the curse of Ham. expresident. the one east and the other west. King Kong. etc. diamonds. indeed. religion. Africa. much of what is known today. nomad. especially to those claiming her as primordial heritage. architecture. magnanimously passed on its knowledge to the world: a world that would have developed much slower without the benefit of ancient Kemet's highly developed and organized dynastic civilizations. metaphysics. Western Media treat the African continent as a malignant appendage rather than as an integral. maintain a negative reportage policy when the subject is Africa. tribe. why? Must a news organization demonstrate objectivity. Inarguably.S. Chavis 98 (Rod.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The affirmative’s biased representations rob Africa of its culture and identity for Western profit gain at the expense of African nations. to bring salvation to the heathens. and fairness? Images of Africa in the Western Media. as the precursor in all fields of human activity and the world's foundation upon which subsequent epistemology is based. are yet pervasive when Africa is the story. manganese. Its indigenous populations are depicted as without value. is a principal in a mining operation in Zaire. astrology. African nations. warlords. responsibility. an ectoplasm. foreboding. and interlocking global corporate entities. more than religious organizations and the academy. coincidentally. ethical standards. Dark or black connotes fear. in the Western Media. set up new territories for the crown-. drought. continues a tradition: stereotype and bombast. lineage. What do negative media images. the arts. science. since at least the issuance of the Papal Bull of 1455. subjected to relentless vitriol and eternal marginalization while her vast resources are ruthlessly extracted by neocolonialist forces. when the Pope of Rome authorized Spain and Portugal to go out into the world. and no people.. developing. gold. and evil. African peoples and lands. intellectually and in all known spheres of human development. Africa is bludgeoned repeatedly by the press: famine. she is the bastardized other. savage. They portray a no there there: no culture. tribalism. bias and disdain often are warp and woof of media coverage when Africa is the subject.S. conveyed by the Western Media about Africa communicate? What darkness prevails in the mind of the producer(s)? What gains for whom derive from journalistic bombast and unmitigated stereotype of a whole continent? Nouns and adjectives like hut. primitive. have the ability to broadcast to every nook and cranny on the planet. language. as a continent.edu/Workshop/chavis98. -and. Historically. with all that wealth underground: copper. any "news" or image concerning anything and do.

and by extension Africa. African disaster exploitation is selected with completely different standards. by his own confession. We all know these are atypical scenes. For example. begrimed makeshift huts fishing on the bank of the river. And these calculations have worked perfectly over the years. that Conrad deployed the motif of "darkness" to encapsulate his sense of the barbarism. a dark warlike continent waiting for a western savior – These depictions feed racism Kperogi 07 (Daily Trust. The truth is that the report fits perfectly well with the mental pictures Americans are made. however. his only response was that he didn't watch the domestic version of the report and could therefore offer no comment." most careful academics.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The Aff’s depiction of African peoples mirrors Conrad’s “heart of darkness”. an English novelist whom our own venerable Chinua Achebe famously described as a "bloody racist. it seems. he said. Staff writer for AlertNet. "Using pictures of bare-breasted women in a society where the only other place we see that is salacious tabloids is not acceptable. picture editors would usually think at least three times before publishing photographs of naked children.14 Sep 2005) Oxfam's Davis said pictures from Africa were often selected using totally different standards to those that would normally apply elsewhere.the media doesn’t even think twice before exploiting Africans anymore Gidley 05 (Ruth. In the video. journalists and public commentators don't use it to refer to Africa lest they should be accused of racism. live on trees or at best in mud houses. Johnson. As any student of African literature knows. and insisting that they would only grant CNN an interview in the middle of the river for "spiritual" reasons-and such other racist banalities that are irrelevant to the core of the story. Farooq. where people live in a state of nature. to have of Africa. are untouched by the faintest sprinkle of "modernity"-and maybe in need of a white "savior. by Joseph Conrad. But CNN's Anderson Cooper. backwardness and spiritual death of Africans whom he portrays as inhabiting a dreary. And then you have naked children walking in fetid refuse dumps." Achebe's inimitable Things Fall Apart was.htm.com/stories/200703110012.org/thefacts/reliefresources/112669283410. A report that was supposed to highlight the plight of Niger Deltans under the tyranny of oil companies and the Nigerian state became. but to provide a journalistic endorsement (by an "African" journalist) that Africa is indeed (still) the "heart of darkness" where people are notoriously superstitious and backward. But the object of the report is not to highlight the desperate state of the Niger Delta." aiming their guns at poor kidnapped Pilipino oil workers. It is a historically racist phrase that has been central in the discourses of Western negrophobia. http://www. another racist fictional work set in northern Nigeria." Davis said. "But naked famine's okay. Since Achebe called global intellectual attention to the racist underpinnings of the phrase "heart of darkness. in 2007. http://allafrica. It suffices to say. and makes the Black American population feel so grateful that their ancestors were enslaved by white brutes and brought to America that demands for reparations for slavery not only seem unreasonable but also preposterous. even forced. Abuja (Nigeria). the Heart of Darkness is a 1902 fictional representation of the Congo. wear no clothes. unless they were African famine victims. and half-naked men in filthy." . “Aid workers lament rise of 'development pornography'”.alertnet." This caricature of Africa achieves two purposes: it reminds white Americans how truly racially superior they are. lifeless and colorless jungle in contradistinction to the "civilization" and spiritual light of Europe. I do not want to bore readers with the storyline of Conrad's novel. an informational staple to feed the ever ravenous racist fantasies of Americans about Africa. we see menacing. called Nigeria the "heart of darkness" using Jeff Koinange's tendentious report on the Niger Delta as a convenient cover. Staff. in reality. And no eyebrows were raised from the plethora of anti-racist and anti-defamation groups in America! When I called the attention of a CNN editor to this. hooded "militants" dancing themselves to a state of "trance. a response to Conrad's racist denigration of Africans in the Heart of Darkness and Joyce Carey's equally condescending characterization of Africans in Mr.html) The phrase "heart of darkness" has a lot of associative significance.

unsettling questions. p. ECLIPSE OF FREEDOM. "There are words. and ageism on the other hand have created a counterculture of denial and disbelief that has shattered the façade of civility.have generated fears of nuclear terrorism and blackmail in view of the widening circle of nuclear powers. and the sources of racism. and health care on one hand. "as murderous as gas chambers. (DRGCL/B1049) No Date Metaphors of existence symbolize variegated aspects of the human reality. Brij Mohan. " Expressions can be unifying and explosive. However.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Racism comes first – outweighs nuclear war. sexism. Civilization loses its significance when its social institutions become counterproductive. Manifestly the Cold War is over. Ethnic strife and political instabilities in the New World Order -. It is this aspect of the mega-crisis that we are concerned about. Professor at LSU. Despite encouraging trends in nuclear disarmament. power. they portray explicit messages and implicit agendas in human affairs and social configurations. 3-4." de Beauvoir writes. words can be apocalyptic. loss of job. But them world is not without nuclear terror. and fear of terrorism continue to characterize the crisis of the new age which is stumbling at the threshold of the twenty-first century. . accidents. The ordeal of existence transcends the thermonuclear fever because the latter does not directly impact the day-to-day operations if the common people. The fear of crime.following the dissolution of the Soviet Union -.

Lenape. in the words of Shelly. while it attenuates human spirituality and connectivity: key ingredients in equitable planetary wealth sharing. As mentioned earlier. . AIDS is alive and well. Do media organizations.edu/Workshop/chavis98.html] Africa's image in the Western Media is not a self-portrait. datelines. indigenous peoples here in America. who have virtually no cultural competence. Apache. references to Africa are received sometimes with disdain and contempt. For example. and nightline episodes. while supremely disturbing. and monopolizes those images. infers worthlessness. promoted in the Western Media. etc. so readily applicable to news treatment and for putting a local or provincial spin on news. disregards African humanity. pervades the psyche. How many advertising dollars were wasted in that effort: dollars that may have been better put into research activity. as a possible cure for AIDS. Because media conditioning shapes. also abets the media-as if they need assistancein denigrating Africa. two German doctors working in Kenya conducted a significant study on Kemron. and fair reportage on events as they occur anyplace in Africa? Because the modus operandi is so entrenched. Even African descendants. It is not a what you see is what you get.. Ashamed of their "heritage and historical past" they side with media characterizations projected through stories. specials.upenn.africa. U Penn. Chavis 98 [Rod. the research community was busy campaigning to lay the blame for AIDS on Africa. the Cherokee. This attitude. pre-empts behaviors. "have responsibility for their creations"? What level of journalistic professionalism must be achieved in order to obtain balanced. newsgathering organizations feel no compunction to do anything different or right. Of course. encountered the same thing when their lands were targeted for annexation and foreign domination and control. Africa's negative and contrived image.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Biased media causes Africans to be ashamed of their history and devalues African humanity. actually contribute to how Africa is projected globally. http://www. molds. and devalues the mind. Continual portrayals of Africa in a bad light only perpetuates ignorance in a world much closer in proximity than ever before a media industry that thrives on the negative. objective.

had warned that overexposure to representations of suffering was likely to end in "indifference." By 1921. was to blame. she explained.' photographs. if hesitant. according to Brandt. American Quarterly 55. and taking advantage of a novel wartime toleration for images of violence. attentive to the power of the movies to move public tastes and values. she thought. Representations have to become more and more horrific until it means nothing to people – this guts long term solvency. begun to depend so heavily on "'human interest stories." . and properly. 417-455] The last years of the Great War saw the emergence of a coherent. the greater the returns. As long ago as 1759. impressed by the manifest ability of the new advertising profession to manipulate popular desires. like the frog's muscle in an experiment. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. Adam Smith. one of the foremost architects of the humanitarian ideal. Receptive to revolutionary developments in the field of psychology that emphasized the preeminence of irrational drives over reflective reason. the law of diminishing returns seemed to be taking hold." But there was a danger here.3. Delicious Horrors. The lesson seemed obvious. and finally the point is reached at which it is impossible to excite any response." An overabundance of images. People. and motion pictures. relief agencies had lately. Prominent welfare writer Lilian Brandt announced the new orthodoxy in her prizewinning 1921 book How Much Shall I Give?: "[T]he more vividly the individuals are pictured. critique of compassion fatigue.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Overabundance of tragedy desensitizes people into indifference. increasing doses of stimulation must be applied to produce equal reactions. Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. were losing their capacity to respond appropriately to images and stories of suffering "because the horrors have become so commonplace that they cease to arouse the sympathy." This was why. The emotions become fatigued. "Tragic photographs of starved children and skeleton babies fail now to bring the response which could have been counted on a few years ago. charity officials eagerly experimented with ways to dramatize the suffering of the victims they most wanted to help.

. The great majority of people will survive-largely due to their own efforts.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn These images create false illusions. The truth is that. but they are not what we are shown. International food aid is much less important than food grown by local farmers. Do pictures of Somalia show herdsmen tending large flocks of well-fed camels. first it must restore humanity. Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal. Most deaths are the result of disease. co-directors of African Rights (NGO)] Reduced to nameless extras in the shadows behind Western aid workers or disaster tourists. If "Operation Restore Hope" is to live up to its name. the maintenance of animal herds. Issue 61. Center for Media Literacy. even in the areas of the country stricken by famine. filled with the laughter of healthy children? All these are just as much facets of life in Somalia today as looting and starvation. self-respect and dignity to the Somali people. or the women who have turned their homes over to orphanages. or farmers cultivating ripening crops of sorghum and maize? Do they show vegetable markets flourishing in Mogadishu? Are we allowed to see clan elders negotiating a local cease fire. This cannot be done while the press corps makes disaster pornography pass for a true portrait of the Somali nation. strip agency and ensures longterm dependency Omaar and De Waal 93[Disaster Pornography from Somalia. having roots and berries to eat and charity of relatives and friends. please. the grieving. hurting and humiliated human beings are not asked if they want to be portrayed in this degrading way. But famine relief experts concur that the total impact of our charitable giving is less than what can be achieved if the stricken people are enabled to help themselves. The most respectable excuse for selectively presenting images of starvation is that this is necessary to elicit our charity. No more. Winter. outright starvation is the exception.

” Thakur has good reasons for thinking so. controlling regions. even though the Islamist regime is oppressive and unpopular. we know no such thing. or tearing it up. Colin Powell’s invocation of the Genocide Convention in Darfur invigorates forces seeking a more just world. which compensates for its reluctance to risk its soldiers by using firepower and ruthlessness against non-US civilians. ZNet.” (9) In fact. an invasion would do little for proUS sentiment in a region where such sentiment is sorely lacking. is correct when he argues that “Western Medicine is no cure for Darfur’s ills”. When criminals are compelled to cite the law. far from offering a solution. however flawed. we know that justice is within our reach. however. US military doctrine. may add to the problems. September 29. whether he’s ignoring it. for example. Sudan is a country with a Muslim population and. The real world demands not allowing genuine concern for victims of atrocities to be transmuted by interventionist hypocrites into apologetics for an imperialism that will ultimately produce more victims of more atrocities. http://www.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Western intervention is a rhetorical device used to justify self-serving goals which create more humanitarian crisis and replicate the system of imperialism which sustains atrocities. Perhaps Khalid Fishawy and Ahmed Zaki of Egyptian alternative media site kefaya. is equally unsavory to anti-imperialists: “However. The US’s actions in Afghanistan. and starvation were ever mounted). A year after the Iraq invasion.S. Clearly Ramesh Thakur.zmag.” When one considers the problems the NATO intervention caused compared to those it solved. The oil connection in Darfur also casts doubt on US humanitarian intentions. Vice Rector of the UN University. who Gberie also cites. one would have to disagree with the conclusion of the Black Commentator’s well-reasoned editorial of September 23. The Colin Powell brand of criminal always cites the law.org/content/showarticle.000 NATO troops into Kosovo in response to the deaths of some 2.org posed the challenge for movements best: . as Israel’s consent ought to be if an international intervention to protect Palestinians from massacre. Proposals for an African Union intervention as cited by Gberie. could have the best chance of success (it was African intervention that brought the Congo civil war to a halt). show that the US is more interested in building bases. upholding it. the issue of consent should be irrelevant. there should be little doubt about any of these points. Getting Beyond Hypocrisy of Humanitarian Intervention. and controlling energy sources than solving local humanitarian crises. to the aerial bombardment and insertion of some 50. tends to have very un-humanitarian effects. The same is true of the world’s response to the mass murder in the Congo. and that “a Western intervention. Podur 04 [Justin Podur.cfm?ItemID=6325] Gberie sensibly argues that the Sudanese government’s consent ought to be irrelevant (as irrelevant. 2004. that: “No matter how cynical U. motives. There was no consent in 1999.000 people. Given that. while the liberal interventionists were still trying to find ways of using the Rwandan genocide of 1994/5 as a rhetorical device to justify future Western interventions. which took place largely in Rwandan and Ugandan-controlled parts of the Congo between 1998-2001 (8). where funds were available for bombing but not for rebuilding. But those same victims deserve better than mere denunciations of intervention and its apologists as hypocrites and warmongers. this ‘success’ of ‘humanitarian intervention’ seems less ‘humanitarian’ and less ‘successful’ (7). The example he provides. assassination.

former U. postgenocide director of Rwanda Information Services. and Africans as inferior and negative and makes most stories about the continent negative. That same standard should apply to Africa. labor and legal communities hear our cries and see the invisible faces of our kids? When a military base is built or a bomb is dropped. yet we see and read other things about Russia. Stories about hardship and tragedy aim to tug at our heartstrings. African journalist. And that lack of investment translates into job stagnation. When will religious. linking movements. There has even been a suggestion that it is meant to keep Africa in the backyard of the global economy.S.S houses the School of the Americas so when will people understand organizing for the poor in the belly of the beast or the danger of the poor in the U. it attracts the least. http://casnov1. for the perpetuation of prejudices that exacerbate Africa’s problems. By contrast. That is how China. to no small measure. “Although the media coverage Africa receives is not the principal cause of the problems Africa faces. help organize the poor to speak for themselves ‘cause we’ve learned important lessons from history. Poverty is the root cause of war and if we are serious about ending war and poverty in the U. continued poverty and limited access to education and health care.S.S. Russia has problems. There is a historic framework that by definition sees Africa .” Poverty is the root of war O’Donnell 04 [Katherine. Olujobi 06 [Gbemisola. “Yet while Africa.cas. even . But no country or region ever developed thanks to aid alone. offers the highest return in the world on direct foreign investment. ... more kids will die and become forever more invisible.muohio.pdf. we will take down this empire. according to the U. India and the Asian tigers did it. getting us to dig into our pockets or urge Congress to send more aid. http://www. ambassador to Tanzania. “One thing blocking a fuller perception of Africa’s progress may be implicit racism.S.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn These representations perpetuate policies and structures which prevent African progress.” According to Carol Pineau.edu/cawc/documents/building%20north-south%20chapter.] The U. more kids will go hungry. Investment. it “comes at a high cost.. Unless investors see the Africa that is worthy of investment. no longer hiding the human rights violations of the U. but we see and hear other things about China. and the job and wealth creation it generates is the only road to lasting development.S. Speaking for ourselves. says “the way Africa is covered in the international media is not only charged with a partisan view but also responsible. and the whole world.S. China has problems. When those most affected by an issue are involved in the fight. Turns case. Government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation.truthdig.com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/] Wilson Rutayisire.” According to Charles Stith..S. they won’t put their money into it.. getting organized against empire? The poor in the U. should be seen as strategically important to all people who struggle against the daily terror of the empire. the cost of lives.” Rwandan President Paul Kagame says: “The constant negative reporting kills the growth of foreign direct investment. we can end those conditions around the world and in the U. it provides the superstructure within which Africa is perceived and foreign policies on Africa are prescribed. Hartwick College.

and the Osu caste system. Sierra Leone. and mysticism. Christianity and Islam have remained impotent in the face of Africa’s troubles. starve. and to advance human happiness and well being. religious mercenaries – evangelical Christians and Islamic jihadists who seek to convert Africans to alien faiths – have invaded the “black continent”. possibilities. there is hope. denudation and the dehumanization of Africans and people of African descent. god. to its stagnation. Burundi. and progress. racism. informed by superstition. ignorance. Humanists believe that the only way for Africa to ameliorate the human condition and achieve sustainable growth and development is to tackle poverty. and prosperity in the here and now. Africa’s future is replete with limitless opportunities. Only 58% of the African population have access to safe water. colonialism and apartheid in Africa. ‘witch’ killing. and Sudan. famine and flood have disrupted food production. and the literacy rate for people over 15 is 41%. Africa has remained the poorest region with 49 of its countries classified as least developed. Africans invoke the supernatural. Today. Indeed Christianity and Islam have thrived and flourished while Africans suffer. The Humanist outlook will facilitate the realization of African Enlightenment. charms and witchcraft. affluence. Nigeria. exploitation.org/node/1047] Unfortunately. hunger. http://www. Humanism can help Africans achieve the good life. tuberculosis. some have dismissed the continent as a ‘basket case’ and ‘forgetful of the world and by the world forgot’. spirits. In spite of its abundant human and natural resources. and renaissance. Africa’s foremost Humanist. But it is wrong to despair for Africa. oppression. given that. courage. Angola. Instead. juju. Africans must cultivate and embrace the Humanist virtues of self-help. They preach submission to the wills of their gods and salvation in the afterlife as answers to Africa’s problems. The supernatural faiths have greatly undermined Africa’s quest for freedom. there is a future. Yet Africa’s problems still remain and in fact have grown and multiplied. dispossession. There is a lot of hope for Africa. Liberia. Instead the two religions have contributed to Africa’s woes.Millions of Africans have lost their lives to holy wars like the Jihad of Uthman Dan Fodio. Nigeria. human beings possess the means through science and technology to ameliorate the human condition. Eritrea. Overwhelmed by crippling debts. critical intelligence and cooperative efforts. causing more hunger. But to realize these promises. most African economies are worse off today than they were during the colonial years. Because where there are human beings. Humanism is thus needed to help address the lingering legacy of interracial. Religions have corrupted Africa. resolve and overcome their problems and difficulties. they must learn to believe in themselves. deities. Humanism will provide a veritable framework for Africans to tackle.iheu. But most people in Africa are living and languishing in palpable poverty. Drought. Egypt. All in all.000 and life expectancy at birth only 54 years. and disease. ritual killing. religions have failed Africa. Congo DRC. ignorance. In the face of problems. starvation and malnutrition. Ivory Coast. or people. Christianity and Islam did not prevent the evils of slavery. echoed the view when he said “The worst bane of African development is chronic dependence on the deity to solve all earthly problems”. alienation. occultism. and promises. IHEU Growth and Development representative. intercontinental and intergenerational injustice and inequity that have marked Africa’s relationship with the rest of the world. Secondly. disrupting and shattering the livelihoods of tens of millions in Algeria. Tai Solarin. apartheid. They flee from applying their ‘unaided’ reason and intelligence. colonialism. and charms. Africa contributes only 1% of global Gross Domestic Product and less than 3% of international trade. and die. Armed conflicts often with tribal and religious dimensions have claimed millions of lives. continent. self-reliance. the war in Liberia. and Uganda. Throughout history. we must save ourselves’. and critical thinking. emancipation. polio. and not in the hereafter. In fact it is wrong to despair for any race. these mistaken beliefs about Africa have served the interests of the continent’s invaders.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Their representations turn the case and cause systemic harms that outweigh the case – Only the alt solves Igwe 04 [Leo. Christianity did not prevent the genocide in Rwanda. diseases. juju. With over 800 million people. deprivation. Harmful traditional practices and taboos such as female genital mutilation. cholera. The tendency has been for most people to despair for Africa and its future. In pessimism. A rebel group in Northern Uganda is fighting to overthrow the government of Yoweri Museveni and enthrone a government based on the Ten Commandments. They have been used to justify a multitude of atrocities: slavery. ‘No Deity will save us. and general underdevelopment. Sierra Leone or Congo DRC. science. missionaries. have taken an enormous toll on progress towards emancipation of the African spirit. and HIV-AIDS are ravaging the continent. Somalia. happiness. Ethiopia. Diseases like malaria. jihadists and colonizers. quoting Humanist Manifesto II. and to sectarian clashes and religious bloodletting in Algeria. misery. and other problems through the use and application of reason. They depend on God and rely on the ‘powers’ of spirits. African people must be weaned from their congenital fear and reliance on the unknown – fate. . intellectual awakening. About half of Africa’s population live on less than $1 per day while the mortality rate of children under five years of age is 140 per 1.

It is 1.org/ICLIB/IC04/Gilman1. so these estimates indicate that 23% of all deaths were due to structural violence. By 1979 the fraction had dropped to 15%. Gilman 97 [Robert.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Structural violence is outweighs all war and nuclear weapons.context. the number of deaths is staggeringly large. . it is the equivalent of another Hiroshima.htm] Some comparisons will help to put these figures in perspective. The total number of deaths from all causes in 1965 was 62 million. For example. While it is heartening to see this improvement. Every 4 days. dwarfing any other form of violence other than nuclear war. Context Institute. the level of structural violence is 60 times greater than the average number of battle related deaths per year since 1965 (Sivard 1982). http://www.5 times as great as the yearly average number of civilian and battle field deaths during the 6 years of World War II.

” said The Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I get upset watching the babies dying. .” said Caroline Trinidad. assistant professor in the philip merrill college of journalism at the university of Maryland.” observed Tom Getman. Moeller in 1999 (Quals: Director of the Journalism Program and Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brandeis University. a housewife and mother of four interviewed in The Times article.” Others feel drained by all the tragedy and by the seemingly repetitive crises.” . Public apathy about Bosnia or Rwanda. compassion fatigue or com. Hut the coverage of genocide — at least the coverage of those few cases of genocide that make it into the news in the first place— may be one of the few instances where the media really do put their foot down. People respond when a little girl falls down a well. Source: Compassion Fatigue. Some people don’t want to be reminded of their helplessness.” “People seem to be paralyzed or just giving up." The K turns case.’” The public can imagine the rescue effort needed to rescue one trapped little girl. “Americans just get tired of seeing starving people on television. but the mind boggles at the logistics necessary to save millions. when they really do insist on covering a story because the public should know.passion avoidance ultimately prevails—the story is yanked from sight long before it is truly over. Of course. there’s little one person can do. the media don’t tailor their coverage to anticipate or accommodate the public’s indifference. “They end up just turning the television off. Page: 237. at least the media can say that they bore witness.” said Al Panico of the Red Cross. argues that few are watching or reading such stories—and that perhaps the media needs to change their manner of telling this kind of news.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Compassion fatigue forces unconscious dismissal of the impacts Susan D. for example. in 1991. . . But even if every reader and every viewer turns the page or hits the button on the channel suffer when the horrific images pop up.000 people in Bangladesh are killed. ‘Isn’t that terrible’ but I think the capacity for feeling is if not deadened. page 35-37) New York University communication scholar Neil Postman was not surprised by the comments of those interviewed in The Times. “Who the hell wants to see that? I switch the channel. But if 70. “The sheer abundance of images of suffering will tend to make people turn away.abundance of suffering depictions deters people from advocating aid Moeller 99 (Susan. ‘With so much going on. “They seem to be saying to themselves. and even before that happens it receives less play than it deserves. War and Death” 1999. KL) To an astonishing extent. “While much of the world was ignorant in 1940 of the efficiency of the Nazi killing machine. at least drugged. Famine. “today on the doorsteps of the global village a media-driven culture delivers fresh images daily of atrocities in Bosnia and Rwanda. one starving child threatened by a vulture. of course people will say. “Compassion Fatigue : How the Media Sell Disease. director of government relations for the Christian relief organization World Vision.

IT WAS SEPTEMBER 1917. 417-455] ROBERT H. This undertaking was already leading his colleagues at the national headquarters of the American Red Cross to produce their own "thrilling" films of the slaughter in Europe in order to win popular support for their humanitarian ventures." but what clearly rankled most was that the film had stolen his thunder. But how was he to compete with a thrilling movie—a rival attraction. The task was urgent. But should we accept this distinction so easily? Did audiences actually compartmentalize their emotional responses so neatly? Assembled in a movie house. and it was considered tame in comparison with the cinema horrors preceding"? As this observation reveals." As a respectable citizen he took offense at the content of the movie that preceded his presentation. and soldiers and civilians were dying by the millions in the charnel house of Europe.3. The audience continually pursues the images. Many more were wounded. which he maintained "should be forbidden by legislative enactment. The United States had been at war for five months. Belonging to an organization. And it was threatening to introduce a host of moral ambiguities that Scott. were always pandering to the base desires of the masses. He had learned that the most effective way to awaken an audience's sympathy for suffering strangers was to paint word pictures of cruel misfortune and broken bodies. as he lamented in American Red Cross Magazine. hungry. Delicious Horrors. Alaska. and a middle class." he was clearly disturbed less by the display of brutal images than by their misuse for the shameless titillation of audiences and for the enrichment of private commercial interests. SCOTT WAS EXASPERATED. refused to acknowledge. for all of Scott's public aversion to racy movies. to raise funds and supplies for this mass of suffering humanity. or homeless. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. full as it was of "elopements and scandal. with "two murders and so much bloodshed that my humble attempt to depict the horrors of the European war did not meet with the response it had in other places. that formally esteemed charity and humanitarianism as the highest achievements of civilization. by contrast. And it was up to Scott. as a field representative for the Red Cross. AND HE WAS FAR from home trying to establish a new chapter of the American Red Cross in Seward. describing incidents of violence and suffering to appall and shock them into acts of responsible compassion. But he was having a hard time of it. in his view. Here he was. His concern. Scott was careful to distinguish his mission from that of theatrical entrepreneurs who. was to inspire the noblest sentiments of the men and women assembled before him. American Quarterly 55. is it not possible that the people of Seward should have thrilled to Scott's dramatic fundraising pitch in much the way that they had thrilled to the sensational "atrocity" movie before it? And wasn't this precisely what Scott was banking on? . Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Representations of atrocity and suffering humanity promote commercial interests and hurt actual aid efforts. in a motion picture theater (Red Cross guidelines directed agents to go where the crowds were). for one. a built environment in which they were accustomed to being stimulated and amused. trying to arrest the attention of an audience that had just watched a film "of melodramatic atrocity.

and carried forward in moral mode by our humanitarian aid.we turn case Baudrillard 94 (Jean. so the symbolic crisis will be complete only when it is no longer able to feed on the other half's human and natural catastrophes (Eastern Europe. 66-71) Just as the economic crisis of the West will not be complete so long as it can still exploit the resources of the rest of the world. the Kurds. relayed in cynical mode by the news media. Bangladesh. indeed. We need this drug. they are of other drugs. But when the catastrophe market itself reaches crisis point.as. We provide them.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The Aff will inevitably lead to the reproduction of the harms they want to solve.“The Illusion of the End” p. we shall have to invent one for ourselves . It will reach the point where it devours itself. etc. when we run out of disasters from elsewhere or when they can no longer be traded like coffee or other commodities. in accordance with the implacable logic of the market. just as economic aid is a strategy for perpetuating under-development. when distress becomes scarce or the marginal returns on it fall from overexploitation. which serves us as an aphrodisiac and hallucinogen. And the poor countries are the best suppliers . in order to meet its need for spectacle and that voracious appetite for symbols which characterizes it even more than its voracious appetite for food. through our media. Up to now. with the means to exploit this paradoxical resource. When we have finished sucking out the destiny of others. the financial sacrifice has been compensated a hundredfold by the moral gain. Our whole culture lives off this catastrophic cannibalism. which is a way of encouraging it and ensuring its continuity. the Gulf.). just as we give them the means to exhaust their natural resources with our technologies. the West will be forced to produce its own catastrophe for itself. Professor of Media.

deliberate and experimental. the catastrophe of the third kind. The underdeveloped are still at the primary stage of the natural. unforeseeable catastrophe. paradoxically. And. 66-71) No solution has been found to the dramatic situation of the under-developed.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Due to the affs reliance on catastrophe exploitation they not only justify the existence of the catastrophes in the first place. and none will be found since their drama has now been overtaken by that of the overdeveloped. . Artificial catastrophes.imminent and foreseeable . That is where the most imminent danger of catastrophe resides.and we shall soon be at that of the pre-programmed catastrophe. Because it is unable to escape it. neurosis and the breaking of blood vessels which haunts us . super abundance. lack and poverty.the unpredictable form of destiny -which will take us there. in the societies which have run out of emptiness. like the beneficial aspects of civilization. but also inevitably lead to future creation of catastrophes to exploit Baudrillard 94 (Jean. Because it cannot accept being confronted with an end which is uncertain or governed by fate. it will prefer to stage its own death as a species. saturation. progress much more quickly than natural ones. We are already at the second stage.“The Illusion of the End” p. The psychodrama of congestion. Professor of Media. that of the manufactured catastrophe . of the rich nations.the drama of the excess of means over ends – calls more urgently for attention than that of penury. humanity will pretend to be the author of its destiny. it is our pursuit of the means for averting natural catastrophe .

p. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was attacked by the alliance without a direct mandate from the UN. . and human dignity have their deepest roots somewhere outside the perceptible world . in a recent essay. the logical conclusion is none other than that NATO forces were allowed to violate existing international law. that this purely humanitarian-ethical legitimization (again) thoroughly Zizek Continues… . Ljubljana University. the targets of a bombardment are not chosen out of pure moral consideration. The problem with this term is not that it is an Orwellian oxymoron —reminding us of ‘Peace is war’ and similar slogans from Nineteen Eighty-Four — which. called ‘militaristic humanism’ or even ‘militaristic pacifism’. as an act of aggression or out of disrespect for international law. Just as for Marx. by Capital’s universalism which tends to subvert and transgress all natural boundaries — it resulted from the heroic struggle of thousands of nameless freedom fighters. in an article in Die Suddeutsche Zeitung in April 1999.. Corporations will be able to sue sovereign states if they impose overstringent ecological or other standards — under NAFTA (the main model for MAI). Neither is it that. and — like Clinton in the USA or New Labour in the UK — accept the basic depoliticization of the economy. but selectively. they become a threatening “Other. 2000. which will be pressured into depleting their natural resources for commercial exploitation. the 1ACs focus on a moral obligation to solve harm done to the victims they represent depoliticizes their cause.36 If we read Havel’s two statements as the two premisses of a judgement. and health and labour regulations to meet the demands of foreign Firms may be accused of acting illegally. The Fragile Absolute. 54-60 Postmodern deconstructionists would probably reject such a direct reference to the Real of the ‘logic of Capital’ as too ‘essentialist’. Governments will no longer be able to treat their domestic Firms more favourably than foreign Firms. So what do we mean by it? Take the example of South Africa: of course. human freedoms. with almost no public consul tation and media attention — as the ‘constitution for a new global economy. sexual. The agreement will basically undermine national sovereignty by assigning to these corporations powers almost equal to those of the countries in which they are located. Nevertheless. human beings are the creation of God’. The top censored story of 1998 was that of a secret international agreement called MAI (the Multilateral Agreement on Investment). as not taking into account the radical openness and contingency of the struggle for hegemony. the end of apartheid confronted the black majority with their true dilemma: should they risk actually disturbing the free functioning of Capital in order to undo the effects of apartheid? Or should they make a pact with the Devil. The primary goal of MAI will be to protect the foreign interests of multinational companies. in accordance with unacknowledged geopolitical and economic strategic interests (the Marxist-style criticism). It happened. victims are deserving of our help only if they stay that way– as soon as they assert political subjectivity. as such. rather. Vaclav Havel tries to bring home the message that the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia: places human rights above the rights of the state. countries that do not relax their environmental. since they acted as a direct instrument of the ‘higher law’ of God Himself— if this is not a clear-cut case of ‘religious fundamentalism’. Furthermore. rights? The struggle for hegemony within today’s postmodern politics does have a limit: it encounters the Real when it touches the point of actually disturbing the free functioning of Capital. Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Sociology. as both conscience and international legal documents dictate Havel further specifies this ‘higher law’ when he claims that ‘human rights. The problem is. ethnic. This did not happen irresponsibly. . this is the obverse of the muchpraised new global morality celebrated even by some neoliberal philosophers as signalling the beginning of an era in which the international community will be able to enforce a minimal code preventing sovereign states from engaging in crimes against humanity even within their own territory. forcing victims to become passive onlookers. and limit themselves to the struggle for cultural. The greatest threat. obviously. In the ideology of the Aff. significantly entitled ‘Kosovo and the End of the Nation-State’. director of the World Trade Organization. The alliance has acted out of respect for human rights. and that one should heroically endorse the paradox of militaristic pacifism). is to the developing nations. etc.Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Cap 2NC (1/2) Their depictions of victims and the process of victimization has multiple implications: primarily. as the current difficulties of the ANC government demonstrate. directly belies the truth of its position (against this obvious pacifist-liberal criticism. out of respect for the law. Ethyl Corporation is already suing Canada for banning the use of its gasoline additive MMT. Slavoj Zizek. while the state is a human creation. I rather think that it is the pacifist position — ‘more bombs and killing never bring peace’ — which is a fake. Renato Ruggerio. is already hailing this project — elaborated and discussed in a clandestine manner.” This ideology is the mechanism by which the real of today’s capital operates. the sponsor of MAI. waiting for a paternalistic western intervention instead of politicizing and participating in their own struggles. Havel’s statement is thus the strongest assertion of what Ulrich Beck. land-use. market relations provided the true foundation for the notion of individual freedoms and rights. the end of apartheid was not directly conditioned by the objective ‘logic of Capital’. then this term is devoid of any minimally consistent meaning. for a law that ranks higher than the law which protects the sovereignty of states. on the contrary. of course.

she sympathizes with all sides in an all-embracing humanist stance: ‘There is tragedy enough for everyone. The crucial point is thus to recognize clearly in this ideology of global victimization. a subject whose innermost desire is reduced to the almost animal craving to ‘feel good again’. what we need is not a ‘true’ (demilitarized) humanism/pacifism. She wants a rest. not an active politico-military force capable of defending itself.). the KLA would — as the NATO sources and the media liked to put it — ‘fill the vacuum’ and take over. NATO in effect triggered large-scale cleansing. In short. the mode of ideology that fits today’s global capitalism. while NATO was intervening in order to protect the Kosovar victims. That would be great. What we encounter here is again the paradox of victimization: the Other to be protected is good in so far as it remains a victim (which is why we were bombarded with pictures of helpless Kosovar mothers. She wants it to be over. who sets the family house on fire in order to be able to prove her devotion to the family by bravely saving the children from the raging flames. and thus created the very humanitarian catastrophe it wanted to prevent). a settlement for good. etc. but in no way are they to be allowed actually to cast off this helplessness by asserting themselves as a sovereign and self-reliant political subject. caught up in the madness of a local clash that can be pacified only by the intervention of a benevolent foreign power. The ultimate paradox of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was thus not the one about which Western pacifists complained (by bombing Yugoslavia in order to prevent ethnic cleansing of Kosovo. “I just want all this to end. Her basic stance is that of excessive suffering. in this identification of the (human) subject itself as ‘something that can be hurt’. The NATO strategy was thus perverse in the precise Freudian sense of the term: it was itself (co-)responsible for the calamity against which it offered itself as a remedy (like the mad governess in Patricia Highsmith’s Heroine.” She is indifferent about who the foreigners are. she just wants the horror over: ‘Does she favor an independent Kosovo? “You know. but wants to strike back on its own.. inhabitants of a devastated country with a passive population.) hatred and violence. but a subject of helpless suffering.. .. she is beyond any political recrimination — an independent Kosovo is not on her agenda. the moment it no longer behaves like a victim. This means that Kosovar faction of Ibrahim Rugova against the ‘radical’ Kosovo the now-discredited ‘moderate’ NATO was actively blocking the full-scale armed resistance of the Albanians themselves.’ Consequently. Consequently... children and old people. she says.”’ Her support of the foreign (NATO) intervention is grounded in her wish for all this horror to be over: ‘She wants a settlement that brings foreigners here ‘‘with some force behind them. a subject with no need for the benevolent umbrella of the NATO ‘protectorate. Meli said. I don’t care if it’s this or that. it magically turns all of a sudden into a terrorist/fundamentalist/drug trafficking Other. this distrust of the KLA resurfaced with a vengeance: the topic of the day was again the ‘danger’ that. A report by Steven Erlanger on the suffering of the Kosovo Albanians in The New York Times perfectly encapsulates this logic of victimization. the problem with ‘militaristic humanism/pacifism’ lies not in ‘militaristic’ but in ‘humanism/pacifism’: in the way the ‘militaristic’ intervention (in the social struggle) is presented as help to the victims of (ethnic. to feel good in my place and my house with my friends and family. we should not trust the KLA.”’ Here we have the ideological construction of the ideal subject—victim in aid of whom NATO intervenes: not a political subject with a clear agenda. justified directly in depoliticized universal human rights. But maybe now there will be a conclusion. since it is involved in drug-trafficking and/or is a Maoist group whose victory would lead to a Khmer Rouge or Taleban regime in Kosovo. but a deeper paradox involved in the ideology of victimization: the key aspect to note was NATO’s privileging of Liberation Army. The message of this distrust could not have been clearer: it’s OK to help the helpless Albanians against the Serbian monsters. grounded in purely moral reasons. .. reduced to stark suffering. not an intervention in a well-defined political struggle. after the Serb Army’s withdrawal.. “I feel sorry for the Serbs who’ve been bombed and died. This ideology of victimization is the very mode in which — most of the time invisible to the public eye. Its title is revealing: ‘In One Kosovo Woman.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Zizek Continues… depoliticizes the military intervention. the subject to be protected (by NATO intervention) is identified from the outset as a powerless victim of circumstances. (The moment this option was mentioned.’ As such. . and I feel sorry for my own people. fears started to circulate: the KLA is not really an army. telling moving stories of their suffering).) After the agreement on the Serb Army’s withdrawal from Kosovo. sympathizing with all suffering sides in the conflict. In other words. changing it into an intervention in humanitarian catastrophe. of traumatic experience that blurs all differences: ‘She’s seen too much. but a ‘militaristic’ social intervention divested of its depoliticized humanist/pacifist veneer. an Emblem of Suffering’. it was at the same time taking very good care that they would remain victims. and to feel good again. . and for that reason all the more ineluctable — the Real of Capital exerts its rule.” Meli said. deprived of all political identity. just a bunch of untrained Lighters. .

” . considering the fact that many of them had more than enough to do with Africa’s present sorry state. at best. Olujobi 06 [Gbemisola. While agreeing. capricious.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Their impacts are suspect and founded upon Western Imperialism. USA Today.” Their Excellencies examined the record of coverage of some of America’s most distinguished publications—The New York Times. inept and thoroughly useless. coverage disregards recent trends toward democratization. by the leading sources of American media is. though with nice words. sponsored by Boston University’s African Presidential Archives and Research Center. At worst.com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/] Eleven former African heads of state from all over the continent rose from the African Presidential Roundtable. The Washington Post. they lamented what they described as “Africa’s image in the American media. The Wall Street Journal.” Such an incredible labor of love. 2005. corrupt. that most African governments have been despotic. News & World Report.S. dismissive of the continent’s progress and potential. with a common conclusion.truthdig. African journalist. They reviewed these publications over a 10-year period—from 1994 to 2004— and “found their coverage of the continent to be anything but fair and balanced. and thus leading to continued ‘exotification’ and marginalization of the African continent. thus betraying an almost contemptuous lack of interest in the potential and progress being achieved on the continent. They therefore concluded that “the findings of this (and other) surveys indicate that coverage of Africa. http://www. and U.

Uganda and Ghana are on course to meet the target of halving poverty by 2010—five years ahead of schedule.2 million children back into school there. Cameroon. The truth about African development magnifies our argument. Olujobi 6 (Gbemisola. In the last five years. hapless and hopeless? The report goes on to say: “A key development on the business front was the rapid increase in Chinese and to some extent Indian investment in African countries. In just a few years. which has brought 1. given their long-term nature. Ghana. has doubled. Mozambique has reduced its poverty level from 70 percent to 55 percent and has doubled the number of its children in school.” And what is more. 1. In 1973. its school enrollment figures. Even war-torn Liberia achieved the distinction of putting the first elected African female head of state into the global club of female heads of government. Africa director at the World Economic Forum.” Is anyone listening? Africa indeed has turned the corner. Burkina Faso. Many African countries extended economic reforms and put in place structures to fight corruption. Botswana. a year widely acclaimed as “The Year of Africa. the tide of an epidemic can be turned. Mozambique. Namibia. economic growth or increased access to education on the continent. African journalist.” Really? Will someone please tell the whole world that Africans are capable of helping themselves. Also grievously ignored by the Western media is the fact that a good number of African countries have made real progress over the last few years. . which prompted Haiko Alfeld. South Africa boasts of sustained economic growth. with soaring literacy rates. Uganda has reduced HIV from 20 percent in 1991 to about 6.5 percent in 2001. as has the phenomenon of South African business expansion into the continent. Disasters in Somalia.000 teachers recruited to enable the nation to achieve the goal of primary education for all in 2006—nine years before the target date of 2015. “The trend has continued into 2006. Today.” In its review of 2005. Kenya has introduced free primary education. showing that with political will. with the pace of such engagement becoming particularly vigorous during 2005. Mozambique and elsewhere were ignored. some say tripled. “These positive trends seem set to continue beyond 2006. trade and investment between China and Africa has tripled. Rwanda has the highest number of women in parliament in the whole world. to declare that the African continent has “emphatically and irreversibly turned the corner. and that they are not helpless.com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/) The 2005 study by Boston University of Africa news coverage also revealed nothing about fewer civil wars. Rwanda and West Africa dominated. In Tanzania.” the World Economic Forum reports “a new resolve [by Africans] to promote the African business and investment climate.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn We control uniqueness. http://www.5 percent. In 2005 alone. Africa posted an unprecedented growth of 4. Two years ago major conflicts affected 19 countries in Africa. South Africa.truthdig.000 new schools have been built and 18. only three African heads of state were elected. Today they affect only three countries. while transitions to democracy in Nigeria. the report says. The World Bank reports that countries like Senegal. 40 countries have had multiparty elections.

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Remaining silent and refusing to speak about violence is the best way to honor the suffering of others and bring about healing. Jackson 04 (Michael, The Prose of Suffering and the Practice of Silence,
Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality, http://muse.uq.edu.au.ts.isil.westga.edu/journals/spiritus/v004/4.1jackson.html, prof. of Anthropology at Univ of Copenhagen) Violence is a form of excess, writes E. Valentine Daniel.37 But loquacity is a form of excess too, one that risks doing violence to the very experiences it struggles to make sense of. This is why our language must be measured and tempered, rather than used to fill silences, or speak that which the sufferer cannot speak. And this is why we should learn the value of silence, seeing it not as a sign of indifference or resignation, but of respect. This is not shocked silence—as when one is struck dumb by events that beggar belief, or cannot be narrated—but silence as a deliberate choice. For there are certain events and experiences of which we choose not to speak. Not because they hold us in thrall, freezing the tongue. Nor because we fear they might reveal our flaws or frailty. Still less because we feel our words can never do them justice. Silence is sometimes the only way we can honour the ineffability and privacy of certain experiences. Such silence may be, as in Africa, a way of healing and reconciliation, and not a way of evading or repressing an issue. Indeed, it may be a consummate form of coexistence. To sit with a neighbour or friend, saying nothing, may seem like a negation of intersubjectivity, but among the Kuranko it is a form of exchange, an expression of solidarity. And if one's friend has experienced loss, it is to acknowledge that loss, and what cannot be changed, at the same time as it is to affirm and demonstrate that the sufferer is not alone. Little is said, apart from the phrase in toro—you suffer— but in silence the social world is restored. Speech disperses the world, say the Bambara; silence restores wholeness. Speech burns the mouth; silence heals it. Speech builds the village; silence regenerates the world.

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In round discourse and education about the truth about Africa counters the media’s exploitation of the African people- the alt is the only way to solve disaster pornography Kromah 02 (Alhaji G.V, former Assistant Professor of International Communication & Media Law at the
University of Liberia, “Africa In the Western Media: Cycle of Contra-Positives and Selective Perceptions”; The Perspective; http://www.theperspective.org/africa_westernmedia.html; April 30, 2002) It appears that this vicious cycle of controlling and tailoring impressions about Africa and Africans in the Western media can be interrupted from a sociological point of view. In the United States, a new program of education about Africa and the outside world has to be designed and aggressively implemented. Well thought out and easily understood forms of public tutoring on the realities of Africa can help discard the stone age perception still lingering in America about Africa and Africans. It is true that prejudice and bigotry are hard to eliminate. But a sizeable portion of Americans, including African Americans, is just simply ignorant about Africa. Americans and their institutions interested in global understanding cannot rely on the media to change their attitude. The reciprocal entrapment between the media and their Western audiences on perceptions of Africa can be dissolved if journalists and their institutional owners wake up and hear members of the same audiences expressing knowledge of Africa beyond the Tarzans, tigers, and chimpanzees. Ordinary people, including elders and children, must know that along with the huts, crocodiles and famine, African countries also have skyscrapers, multiple lane road networks, and other manifestations of modern life. Let people take the initiative, particularly in America, to teach the young children that Africa is not a single country and a single language. Let the children know that all forms of human beings come from Africa, and their geographical habitats were all once attached to the African continent. African Americans can play a crucial role in this educational drive.

Negative western media reporting is something that needs to be stopped- the alt solves the aff harms by telling the true stories about Africa Njeru 05 (Mugo, “Africa at large: Media challenged to
correct negative image of Africa”; http://www.wworld.org/crisis/crisis.asp?ID=480, May 31, 2005) In a session on reporting Africa, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame said African news from both local and Western media must be based on facts and the various contexts which have shaped the history of the continent. President Kagame, whose country is still recovering from the 1994 genocide in which about 800,000 people died, said Africa was not seeking sympathy from the West, "but rather, a deeper understanding." "There is a fundamental need for change in the way we have been covered. The constant negative reporting kills the growth of foreign direct investment. There has even been a suggestion that it is meant to keep Africa in the backyard of the global economy. You can help change this," he said. He added that Africans must, however, take responsibility for the failures that occur in their societies. "We in Africa must ask ourselves why we lag behind in spite of the resources at our disposal. Why is it that the Western journalists see only poverty, disease, corruption, civil war and conflict? Can we give hope to our future generations?" he asked.

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Reject the affirmatives exploitation of Africa for their own benefit. Instead take steps toward a genuinely fair and unbiased media through which depictions are made for the right reasons Susan D. Moeller in 1999 (Director of the Journalism Program and Assistant Professor of American Studies at
Brandeis University. , Source: Compassion Fatigue, Page: 321-22, KL) To confirm this, just reflect on the phenomenon of compassion fatigue. In effect, compassion fatigue signals the public’s weariness with the menu. The public is saying: “Enough. We don’t want what you are giving us.” The solution to compassion fatigue—as has been proven repeatedly—is not for the media to respond with entertainment journalism, sensationalist journalism, formulaic journalism. The solution is to invest in the coverage of international affairs and to give talented reporters, camera people, editors and producers the freedom to define their own stories—bad and good, evil and inspiring, horrific and joyous. The solution is for those talented number to cover that panoply of stories day in and day out, year in and year out, and to be concerned less about the “bottom line” than for the “morning line.” The solution is for the media business to get back to the business of reporting all the news, all the time.

Olujobi 06 [Gbemisola. Turns case. By contrast.com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/] Wilson Rutayisire.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn These representations perpetuate policies and structures which prevent African progress. China has problems. . http://www. Investment. getting us to dig into our pockets or urge Congress to send more aid. There has even been a suggestion that it is meant to keep Africa in the backyard of the global economy. African journalist.S. These gaps in knowledge and the negative portrayals of Africa not only impact populations of African descent in the U. Stories about hardship and tragedy aim to tug at our heartstrings.. it attracts the least. continued poverty and limited access to education and health care.” According to Carol Pineau. and Africans as inferior and negative and makes most stories about the continent negative. the Africast Foundation seeks to educate a global community about the realities of Africa today . says “the way Africa is covered in the international media is not only charged with a partisan view but also responsible. they won’t put their money into it. former U. it “comes at a high cost.. Government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation.africast. “One thing blocking a fuller perception of Africa’s progress may be implicit racism. http://www.S.html) The United States has longer suffered from widespread ignorance and misconceptions about Africa. “Yet while Africa.S. There is a historic framework that by definition sees Africa . That is how China.” Representations of Africa lead to policy failure turning the aff Africast 2000 (African aid NGO. it provides the superstructure within which Africa is perceived and foreign policies on Africa are prescribed. even .com/africast/foundation. India and the Asian tigers did it. to no small measure. Unless investors see the Africa that is worthy of investment. and the job and wealth creation it generates is the only road to lasting development.S. history. according to the U. the cost of lives. By providing both information about African culture and links with the African community. and the contributions of African Americans to U. but also adversely affect U. postgenocide director of Rwanda Information Services.and throughout history. That same standard should apply to Africa. but we see and hear other things about China. attitudes and policies towards Africa.” Rwandan President Paul Kagame says: “The constant negative reporting kills the growth of foreign direct investment. “Although the media coverage Africa receives is not the principal cause of the problems Africa faces. And that lack of investment translates into job stagnation. offers the highest return in the world on direct foreign investment. Russia has problems. yet we see and read other things about Russia. ambassador to Tanzania...truthdig. But no country or region ever developed thanks to aid alone. for the perpetuation of prejudices that exacerbate Africa’s problems.” According to Charles Stith.S.

and neocolonialism. still others have a foot so large it shadoweth the body against the sun. bogus treaties. Africa was Balkanized without any regard for her people. early explorers. British. peoples. was determined not in favor of the land. themselves. shaping and reshaping. culture. one learns. . Europeans. and folk of that country be called Moors. From that point in history the fate of Africa and her peoples' fate. and French navigators. Portuguese. humankind's grandmother. etc. the continent that most anthropologists agree. etc. and Pliny the Elder were prodigious in documenting events. Driven by greed. as modalities to "legitimize" nation stealing and their wealth of material resources but a systematic insidious theft of the posterity of infinite millions of Africans. and histories of Africans along the northern or Mediterranean rim of the African continent from the Western Sudan to Egypt: Herodotus. Kwame Nkrumah. focused their entire attention on controlling and raping Africa. "when they approach me they see only my surroundings. Lucy.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Western portrayals of Africa psychologically justify underdevelopment. goes largely unchallenged by those directly affected. social. In doing so.. Dutch. later Darwinism. lifeways. suggested southern Africa was connected to Asia by a land bridge. Imperialism. and civil chaos of Europe. describes his entourage of young men as being "suddenly surprised and captured by a company of little black. and agreements. which persists today. far from fourteenth and fifteenth century Europe. seeking riches. their eyes be in their shoulders". Others gained their knowledge and information about Africa from Greek stalwarts of history whose histories "often were regarded as being equal in truth almost to the Bible". followed. Often. economic. To some degree. Is there a historical precedence for denigrating Africa. and exponentially great grandmother lament. Through The Travels of John Mandelville. they effectively knelled Africa's demise and collateral underdevelopment. visiting the region in the 5th century BC. Invisible Man. set out to find solutions to domestic economic and political turmoil through exploitation. seeking to expand their national borders by reaching beyond the political. then and now. meaning Egypt was under foreign domination and not in control of her own national affairs. in the southern parts one finds people with no heads. gold. came from some two million years ago? Does life thrive in light or in darkness? Dark Continent is an oxymoron of the highest order. colonialism. still later the so called white man's burden. and futures depended on the richness of those lands. they do not know how their image is disseminated to the world. insidiously. Contextually. Ptolemy the geographer. would Lucy. the spirit of conquest in distant lands. living in Egypt during Roman times. Scholars like Ptolemy. The media of today is even more powerful and influential. European knowledge about Africa was only correctly compiled and presented by a 16th century Moor from Spain (Leo Africanus: History and Description of Africa). the final stage of imperialism eruditely presented by the late Ghanaian President Dr. critical to his mission. in order to justify subsequent motives as to their business in African lands. ancestral and communal lands. the European denigrated the African for psychological purposes as strategy to fulfill Machiavellianism. its wealth or the people whose lifeways. swarthy (author's sic) dwarfs who took them to their city by a river filled with crocodiles". cultures. West and East. Extension of alien European monarchial rule. our African progenitor. As Ralph Ellison questions in his seminal work. papal authority. Media organizations were present in yesteryears lauding Europe's takeover of a continent through the infamous Berlin Conference 1884-5. or figments of their imagination-indeed anything and everything except me". systematic usurpation of lands and territories of indigenous Africans they encountered along the coastal areas of Africa. Herodotus. Its sophisticated approach to creating the African image. cultures. "the whole of Africa is Mauritania.

Humanitarian texts have always been sites for encountering horror. American Quarterly 55. It is on the basis of this understanding that cultural critiques of sensationalism and humanitarianism should proceed.3. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. Oxfam. some charitable institutions have begun to react against the saturation coverage of violence and misery in movies. But the fact remains that the histories of mass humanitarianism and modern sensationalism have always been inseparable. declaring an intention to resist making spectacular appeals." 106 But even this mailing surely depends in part on the phantom spectacles of suffering that are conjured up imaginatively even as they are renounced rhetorically: we won't show you gruesome pictures. In a sensationalistic mass culture it seems inevitable that some of their appeal comes from the opportunities they grant the "virtuous" for dwelling upon representations of death and suffering. that the pain many feel on behalf of suffering strangers is often inseparable from a sense of relief that it is them not us. 417-455] In recent years. ." What the organization promises instead is "a straightforward case for one of the most effective humanitarian aid agencies anywhere in the world. for example. news broadcasts. has moved to head off compassion fatigue by announcing a principled refusal to subject potential donors to "heart-rending photos calculated to play on your emotions. It may be dismaying to acknowledge that our virtues are commingled with our vices. It may be discomforting to discover that feeling good (in the moral sense) often depends upon feeling good (in the pleasure sense). Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. television shows. and perhaps even from a strange voyeuristic fascination that borders on titillation. and magazines.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Text generates rhetoric which makes suffering a spectacle just like imagery. Delicious Horrors. and so they remain.

but the line of faces stretches beyond the frame. as refugees are shown moving in different directions. swollen. Fourth. Rather refugees and the shots scatter unpredictably in all directions. close ups of refugees' faces show them walking toward the camera. placing the American spectator in vertigo of displacement. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. pg. static panoramic perspectives show refugees continuously passing through the frame one after the other. Third. only to exit the frame quickly. nor the screen direction of the editing. Second. Neither the refugees' movement. .2. with particular emphasis on children's feet. refugee camps. Africa Today 48. and injured. often showing them from behind as they return home. First. as if to imply the refugees' infinite replacement. close ups of refugees' walking feet graphically reveal the traumatic physical effect of constant movement. the editing of such images together has the effect of multiplying the sense of refugees' movement.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Refugees place the viewer in a suspended state of spectatorship. Stories use five distinct visual strategies to track refugees' movement. Often the feet shown are bare. Such images put a face on the moving refugee. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. handheld tracking shots follow refugees in transit. is unidirectional. 35-37] Television news coverage not only referred to refugees as pure flow. and relief agency resources. but also exhibited preferences in its selection of video footage to construct refugees as a slowly moving fluid that overruns the borders of nationstates. Finally. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

The extreme polarity of these representations is significant because it positions the refugee as deterritorialized. In the process. but also constructs the refugee crisis as a "natural disaster" beyond human control. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. and outside forces. Africa Today 48. Television coverage of Hutu refugees in late 1996 was characterized by two contradictory tendencies: movement and incarceration." On numerous occasions and on different networks. the problem can be understood not as a product of political history. as a "wave of humanity. Much of the news coverage on U. 35-37] U. . Lutz and Collins 1993). This conflation of indigenous peoples with the landscape itself has long been a strategy of western colonial and neocolonial discourse.S. Television news coverage of these events was the primary means by which American spectators came to know about refugees and the conditions of their displacement." that "flooded across national borders. alternately moving and forced into highly regulated and surveilled spaces.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Representations of refugees force simultaneous poles of movement and incarceration which leave the public to conclude that human change is impossible. the public is left to conclude that placelessness is a natural condition. The inadequacy of context and the focus on displacement work together to reinforce the common western assumption that little can be done (Barnett 1997). television news coverage of refugees' return to Rwanda began in late October 1996 when hundreds of thousands of Hutus encamped in eastern Zaire/Congo fled the area to evade military incursions by rebel forces comprised of Rwandan and Zairian/Congolese Tutsis. Hickey and Wylie 1993.S. their "homeland. This is the strategy of neocolonialism which robs people of agency and autonomy. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. pg." Such language not only positions Hutu refugees as a constantly moving mass. By naturalizing refugees' movement as a flooding river. but when combined with the inadequacy of the media coverage of the roots of the conflict. reporters referred to Rwandan refugees as a fluid body. but rather as an inevitable natural catastrophe. and it has the effect of reducing the political agency and autonomy of colonized people to the unpredictable whims of the natural world (McCarthy 1983.2." a "human river. television from October through December 1996 focused upon Rwandan refugees' movement from camps in eastern Zaire/Congo to Rwanda. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. Such representations reflect the displacement of refugees. refugees are stripped of history and agency. Refugees were portrayed as either constantly on the move or as trapped in makeshift encampments.

many relief organization officials have argued that events in Rwanda would have gone unnoticed. In our particular case of Rwanda.S. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. news organizations have the power to produce carefully regulated knowledge about refugees. if not millions. Yet. Witnessing someone else's pain allows both the maker and consumer of images to enjoy the privilege of distance. Thayer 1998). De Waal 1997). mediated by images" (DeBord 1983: no. As objects of the spectacle. Although relief workers no doubt have noble intentions. psychological forms suggested by crying. Personal pain is no longer privately experienced. the spectacle emphasizes the pain of others. . "The spectacle is not a collection of images. The spectacle creates knowledge from the outside and silences accounts of experience. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. thereby revealing difference between those who are witnessing and those are living as refugees (Scarry 1985. rather. and Weiss 1996: 7. These images force space between simulated and lived to allow consumers to enjoy the privilege of distance.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Images of pain produces knowledge as a public form and redefine the relationship between individuals. As Guy DeBord would remind us. it is publicly exhibited via cameras and satellites to thousands. or hugging oneself. television cameras and aerial images placed refugees within a field of vision where the consumer of these images could pass judgments about refugees. One assistance official insisted. these images of refugees are very much for Western consumption. to engage the viewer. De Waal 1997). The graphic images of others' dislocation.S. their plights. news organizations' construction of Rwandan refugees as a "problem" is predicated on their command of an array of visual technologies. they often promulgate assumptions that order the world into beneficent television viewing publics of western industrialized nations and "problem-ridden" masses of underdeveloped countries (Girardet 1996). Without video footage and aerial imagery. as his statement attests.2. Refugees' pain is revealed not only in its physical manifestations of disease. Rather. The spectacle of the refugee is not just a simple series of images designed to help the viewer understand the situation or feel the need to donate money. malnutrition. U. compel television viewers and Internet users in the privacy of their homes to see the pain of others but not to feel it (Fair 1996. The official noted that such images were useful because they fueled western-led refugee assistance efforts. 4). Malkki 1995: 105-52. made distant from those of ordinary Americans. huddling in groups. and wounds. as well as the ability to perpetuate distinctions between Africa and the West. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. but also in more abstract. confusion. see also Benthall 1983. and loss force a redefinition of space between simulated and lived (Virilo 1996). Africa Today 48. 35-37] U. refugees' experiences. and in doing so. their needs. be an active participant in the production of knowledge about refugees. In this production of knowledge. rocking the body. refugees' voices are most often silenced and accounts of their lived experiences ignored in favor of knowledge produced from the outside by observers (Escobar 1995: 154-211. of consumers who will observe and comment (perhaps in the privacy of their own homes) on someone else's distant pain. but a social relation among people. By controlling imaging technologies. Chow 1992). Scott. pg. "The spread of TV and reporting by satellite have made it possible to provide audiences in industrial countries with graphic images of large-scale human misery" (Minear.

This is an attempt to change the discursive construction of the refugee in the context of history and our own imagery. witnessing involves seeing the refugee not simply as another of Africa's problems. Only by stepping outside spectatorship can we foster political change. Rather. a very specific colonial and postcolonial history. and culture. then witnessing television news images of Rwandan refugees involves understanding these events as more than an isolated "natural disaster." . Tanzania. and Burundi in late 1996 to the complex political events that allowed state-sanctioned genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and permitted the U." Witnessing demands the direct connection of large-scale movement of refugees from eastern Zaire/Congo.S. would involve examining media images of Rwandan refugees in relation to the one million people that now lay buried in Rwanda. what they make visible. witnessing. While aerial images provided a graphic and compelling display of refugees. witnessing is a more situated and embodied practice--one that involves being accountable for what one sees. Witnessing. and identity. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. either for the news reporter or the news consumer. 35-37] Witnessing should be more than looking at images. In this sense. The effect of these images was to strip refugees of place. government until only recently to refuse public acknowledgment of "genocide. television coverage of refugees in eastern Zaire/Congo and Rwanda in late 1996 positioned Rwandan refugees as either constantly moving or as inhabiting incarcerated spaces. Only engaged reporters and active spectators can force televised video footage and aerial images to bear witness to events that our political leaders refuse to "see. history. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks.2. place. calls for reporters and viewers to engage with the story rather to record and watch with cynical detachment." Witnessing Rwandan refugees' images means seeing them not purely as victims to be inspected but as individuals who are part of a larger social and political body engaged in struggles for autonomy.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn We must witness the images instead of merely looking at them. identity. But aerial vantages revealed the massive scale of refugee conditions in a way that ground-based news cameras simply could not. and western imagery of Africa. As conflict in eastern Zaire/Congo grew and conditions worsened. In the case of the Rwandan genocide. It should be an effort to intervene in the discursive construction of the refugee by challenging how visual technologies themselves are used. they further elaborated western detachment from refugees' conditions by presenting them as electronic dots on a high tech map. thereby creating a humanitarian story that reinforced notions of western benevolence and African need. Africa Today 48. The witness is no longer an authoritative bystander whose gaze verifies or validates an event from a distance. then. but as a product of state-sanctioned violence. It means recognizing publicly the pain and trauma of enforced displacement and demanding that the guilty be called to account. and to whom. and aerial images became the only means by which western relief workers and political officials could see events that they otherwise were not there to witness. This fosters responsibility and recognizes struggles for identity. news crews and relief workers evacuated refugee camps in the region. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. pg. If witnessing involves accepting responsibility for and developing affinity with what one sees.

We examine both on-the-ground perspectives of television news cameras. CBS.2. and politicized middle scale.S. because together they provided the dual vantage points that increasingly are used to manage global crises and media events: the human tragedy at close range. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Yet. whose movements and containment in camps were tracked from the sky. historical.S. the public inevitably became an unwitting participant in the production of knowledge about who should live or die in lands far off from the United States. international organizations offered networks and governmental agencies alike aerial photos of refugees. had no coherent explanation of events happening in and around Rwanda. news organization. and from the complications of explanation. seemingly personalized. as well as aerial images. By contrast. public was kept distant and safe from any actual conflict. and NBC--and aerial images of Rwandan refugee movements made available on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) web site. accounts of the lives of refugees. social organization. We suggest that televised video footage and aerial images of Rwandan refugees must be examined together in the context of U. 35-37] ABC. rendering them distant and anonymous. news organizations' inability to represent the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Relying heavily on close-up and remote images.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Images and reports of refugees as personalized tragedy and as distant and anonymous eliminate the site of politics and uses the public to produce knowledge about who should live or die. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. pg. their use made it easy for news organizations to ignore the middle scale. CNN.S. Both video footage and aerial images were used by news organizations and a host of international organizations to report on and monitor refugees' movements in 1996. and history. U. Forced into exile because of the conflict. the U. As important as both kinds of images can be. while neglecting the infinitely more complex. the site of politics. . We argue that these refugees became the living traces of genocide and the shadow focus of media attention.S. especially television. and the impression from afar. Africa Today 48. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. By observing refugees both from the vantage of on-the-ground video footage and from overhead aerial photos. Our analysis explores how these two kinds of images represented refugees as a deterritorialized mass unanchored from the historical realities that unfolded in Rwanda in 1994. refugees became the only signs by which television viewers might come to know about the genocide that went largely unacknowledged by U. when Hutu refugees were forced to flee encampments in eastern Zaire/Congo. News organizations used on-theground video footage to give viewers close-up. news organizations and political leaders.

Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. news media preferred to focus on the refugees and to divert attention from the genocide that preceded refugee movements. 35-37] In the first section of the paper. television represented the constant movement and incarceration of refugees. political officials and the U.S. These aerial images portrayed refugees as electronic dots on a high tech map. positioning them as fully deterritorialized.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Images of refugees as deterritorialized and in need of western assistance change the way we see refugees to the media norm. we consider how video footage used on U.S. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. we suggest that witnessing the Rwandan genocide involves recognizing the continuity between mass killings and the mass movement of refugees as depicted in news and aerial images. Both U. Africa Today 48.S. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. From there. we discuss the implications of seeing and constructing refugees as targets of western assistance. further distancing American television viewers from conditions in the region. In this regard.2. We then explore international relief agencies' use of aerial images to track and monitor refugees' movement. a tracking that made its way to television news in reports of mass movements of refugees. pg. . and how media images circumscribe the way we see and know displaced peoples.

. and pitied. Africa Today 48. These images position refugees as objects of Afro-pessimistic knowledge. Rosenblatt 1996a). CNN. or by ropes and guarded posts. Rwandan refugees are doubly incarcerated. where refugees are constructed as constantly moving. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. the cordons contain any threat of movement." a place of ongoing "tribal warfare. . While their placement in "refugee camps" assures some access to humanitarian aid. Physically. tents. they are incarcerated within a western imaginary that conflates them with the "dark continent. other sequences in news stories represent refugees as confined to particular spaces. ABC. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. CNN. ABC. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. In Appadurai's sense of spatial incarceration.'" where nonwestern people are confined to a place in which they are thought to belong (Appadurai 1988: 3649). broadcast journalists arrived ready to report on a story already seemingly written from previous encounters with the "refugee" situated in the "campsite. Journalists often begin their stories with images of refugees contained by fences. 30 November 1996).2.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Representations of refugee camps isolate refugees as rooted in the locations they are contained. they reinforce the physical and cultural distance between American television viewers and Rwandan refugees (e. and even stretchers. Pottier 1996. pg. it also positions them as objects of knowledge.g. Rwandan refugees are physically incarcerated by the conditions of their displacement and statelessness. 29 October 1996. the fences isolate refugees as a marginalized people to be monitored. First." where s/he now is thought to belong (Girardet 1996. CNN. many of them barbed. the broadcast segments reinforce this spatial incarceration by monitoring and carefully packaging the indignities of refugee life. 22 May 1996. taken care of. Certainly. such as camps. These camp barriers literally and symbolically link refugees to the place in which they are confined. Symbolically. 28 November 1996. 3 November 1996. medical wards. 35-37] In contrast to the images discussed so far. In doing so. That people labeled as "refugees" are confined to "refugee camps" is fully consonant with a long-naturalized association of nonwestern people with place. Enticed by aid agencies that were counting on publicity to further their assistance efforts and to gain attention and funding." Second. Appadurai calls this association the "spatial incarceration of the 'native.

. only a satellite image. many don't believe it's happening (or feel that. Rosenblatt (1996c) insisted that in Zaire/Congo a "reverse form of the 'CNN factor'" was at work. . Indeed. Refugees International called upon President Clinton to "give top priority to providing the best photos from satellite and other sources to enable the best emergency response from UN and other relief agencies and to focus the international community on the need for urgent action" (Refugees International 1996d). compelled Refugees International to release yet another public statement on 7 November. politically. On 18 November. good information. should make public the satellite photos of the fleeing refugees. . in a plea for international intervention. Africa Today 48. Refugees International once again called for the release of aerial imagery. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. the exact whereabouts of many of those fleeing the chaos remains unknown. In a presentation to the House International Relations Committee. . People won’t believe unless the image is spectacular. Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. As it did on occasion in Bosnia. the U.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Satellite Imagery becomes spectacles which create a cycle of chasing grander and grander images." Delayed action on the part of the international community. pg. In World War II and since there have been too many occasions where government photos of atrocities and humanitarian disasters remained in secret archives. . . [is] needed to better determine where the unaccounted for refugees are" (Refugees International 1996e). . claiming "More than ever. could reveal what Refugees International called "one of the gravest humanitarian emergencies in recent years . Those days should be over and photos of eastern Zaire should be released. but he also saw them as spectacular news images. having lost their UN lifeline to clean water and food" (ibid. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. "A worst-case scenario is unfolding for refugees in Rwanda and Burundi and local residents in eastern Zaire . a million refugees spreading across the Zaire countryside. In an attempt to urge President Clinton to "mobilize an all-out international rescue effort" the organization's President Lionel Rosenblatt declared: The Zaire humanitarian disaster is unfolding off-camera. including aerial and satellite photos. efforts to stall the UN Security Council's call for military intervention. issued a press release that warned. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara." Rosenblatt also insisted that only satellite images could help relief workers locate hundreds of thousands of lost refugees in desperate need of assistance. He claimed that "because the current humanitarian catastrophe in eastern Zaire/Congo is not on television..2.S. they can afford to ignore it). (Rosenblatt 1996b) Rosenblatt recognized that the aerial images would serve as useful mapping tools for refugee monitoring and tracking.S. With the support of other relief agencies such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Refugees International. 35-37] On 30 October 1996. . with its regional aerial perspective. particularly the U. 1996d).

they also reinforce and further elaborate Western distance from the political and social turmoil and trauma in Africa. a moving target. a wandering collective rather than as a group of socially situated individuals with distinct histories and interests.2. . This eliminates potential to change into merely empty view. Where the television images expose and even fetishize refugees' pain. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. such images have been used by military officials to generate strategic data about conditions on the ground rather than to prod citizens to action. pg. Africa Today 48. Although specific uses of the aerial image were guided by the good intentions of relief agencies like Refugees International. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. 35-37] While these images might reveal the scale of the crisis. they tended to privilege science over humanitarianism. Historically. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. The aerial image's data tell little about the embodied circumstances of exile and displacement. The aerial image visually constructs refugees as an enigmatic nationless body.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Aerial images distance the West from political and social turmoil and eliminate individuals as social and historical. the aerial image completely submerges it in the barren expanse of the panoramic view.

Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. in fact. and land appear natural.S. 35-37] U.2. As Malkki (1992) notes. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. . pg. territory. televised stories depicted refugee camps and the long marches back to Rwanda as a natural part of the instability and periodic dislocations American viewers expect out of Africa. associations of people with state. Africa Today 48. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. people's ties to place may be uncertain and provisional. Hence. when. The consequence of this association of people and place is that it appears commonsensical and normal. when people are conceived of as culturally monolithic. television news coverage of the refugee crisis reinforced existing popular notions about refugees' displacement by conflating people with place.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The representations force the public to view individuals as culturally monolithic and create false illusions about the ties between people and place.

" it is automatically coded as a crisis or catastrophe. To make this distinction. might begin to achieve a level of understanding.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Representations of diseased bodies allows the western imagination to view crisis as Africa’s natural condition. because refugees are on the move they often violate national boundaries and so signify the failure of the nation-state to contain them." "diseased" bodies and therefore are understood as the vulgar antithesis of western norms. Whether taken on the ground or from the sky. Finally. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. Thus. politics. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. the regional scene where history. would find cause and explanation. Here is where news organizations. these images ignore the middle scale. the West constructs refugees as "problems" in at least three ways. politics. Refugee images of the sort described in this paper reinforce the mindset of Africa as a place of crisis. war-torn continent that has historically resisted and resented white colonial domination. and culture play out. First. allowing any political and social turmoil and upheaval to be imagined as Africa's natural environmental condition. media only as crowded masses of "dirty. Second. tumultuous. Africa Today 48. and culture are ignored. when Africa flickers across America's "radar screens. .2. if they looked. the western imagination locates refugees on a revolting.S. pg. if it had the necessary information and patience." "unhealthy." "fatigued. 35-37] As Malkki's statements suggest. Understanding of history. refugees are made visible in U. And here is where the American public. defining refugees as "problems" to be cared for by states and international agencies permits the symbolic and material reentry of refugees into a national and global order in which the distinction among "nationals" and "foreigners" is clear.

22 October 1996.g. ABC. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. 6 journalists began to describe refugees as groups "trapped" in camps (e. For example.2. The stories suggested. pg. that those who were "trapped" would require [End Page 41] the assistance of western humanitarian and possibly military intervention efforts to locate and retrieve them for repatriation. of course. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. This is justification for making systems of need subservient to Western Humanitarianism and Military Intervention. NBC. ABC. 30 November 1996). When Zaire/Congo and Tanzania began to close refugee camps and demand repatriation of refugees to Rwanda. 35-37] Acknowledging agency among hundreds of thousands of refugees spatially incarcerated in camps is a risky proposition for journalists.. 16 November 1996. CNN. NBC. cultural. nobly resigned to their lot in life.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Representations of the suffering as helpless cause an expectation of them to be resigned towards change. and historical identities. not actively engaged in reformulating their political. one NBC story--showing close up visuals of a young child--concluded that "the job of locating and keeping alive those refugees trapped in Zaire is the world's focus" (16 November 1996). 23 November 1996. Africa Today 48. Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. 3 November 1996. Audiences and news managers at home expect refugees to be passive. Journalists' perception that refugees were unable or unwilling to act on their own behalf also is found in a group of stories focusing on the closure of camps in Zaire/Congo and Tanzania in October and November 1996. .

Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Donna Haraway (1988. of interventions used by states. responsibility. refugees come to represent a pure and universalized humanity. state security organizations. Fair and Parks 01 [Jo Ellen Fair and Lisa Parks. and the media to watch. For her. count. Internet users. diplomats. and video has positioned westerners as distant observers of others' problems. Television news cameras and aerial imaging allow various constituencies--media audiences. victimized by political. As mediated spectacles relayed from Africa. economic. and place. satellite images. They are objects. The process. Malkki 1995: 117). serves to make them the focal points of observation and inspection.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The process of representing refugees as objects of the media strip them of their individuality and influence outsiders to generate knowledge about them. and track them (Escobar 1995. This spectatorship removes our sense of involvement and responsibility. 1997) has suggested that scientists' control over technologies of visualization such as photography. sonography. and aid groups--to produce and circulate knowledge about refugees' experiences. by which refugees are stripped of individuality. pg. Indeed. but for which they ultimately are to blame. and accountability 12 . categorize. Africa on Camera: Television News Coverage and Aerial Imaging of Rwandan Refugees. images of refugees call for detached and disembodied looking that relieves viewers from any sense of involvement. as well as history. culture. the public visibility of refugees raises questions about the ways in which they are "seen" both by American news producers and spectators. policymakers. such technologies can reinforce power differentials between westerners and others to the extent that they transform vision into "unregulated gluttony" (Haraway 1988: 581).2. rather than subjects. aid organizations. Africa Today 48. 35-37] As "problems" of displacement. and historical forces over which they have no control.

But one child. meaning: “I don’t want to know any more.” Didactic images can overload the senses. Petersburg Times columnist Jack Payton in response to the deluge of crises in the spring of 1991. and another. Kay Hamner. syndrome. Harding remarked.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The overload of chaotic atrocities that are shown by the media cause extreme desensitization and effectually deterring aid. Maybe Joseph Stalin was right after all when he said. Mr. and another and on and on and on is too much. sometimes. they never stopped. Many said they were “moved by the suffering. pictures that can be distilled into a plain and unmistakable message can drill into the minds and hearts of their audiences. an Eastern European specialist at the State Department. “Maybe we’ve seen too many anguished faces in too many faraway places pleading for help through our television set. “Compassion Fatigue : How the Media Sell Disease. and that’s what got to people…you had to steel yourself just to get through the day. War and Death” 1999. even numbed by so much sorrow from so many places at once…. an Atlanta executive. page 35-37) Simple pictures. ‘One death is a tragedy. told of the photographs that came out of Bosnia after a busload of refugee children was shelled. Numbers alone can numb. emotional pictures. “Maybe the Kurds. a Seattle window cleaner.’” The New York Times tested that principle in one of its stories that same spring. A crowd of people in danger is faceless.’ Ms.” wrote St.’” 96 . This desensitization means aff doesn’t solve. “The images just kept mounting. and Roux Harding.” The public screams. and then another. find the images on the evening news strangely unaffecting. “Stop those images!”—meaning: “Do something!” but also. John Fox.” he said. confused. interviewing 50 Americans across the nation. Moeller 99 (Susan. A single child at risk commands our attention and prompts our action. “The images came. the Bangladeshis. 1 million deaths is a statistic. assistant professor in the philip merrill college of journalism at the university of Maryland. Hamner said. the Ethiopians and the Mozambicans have finally pushed us into the MEGO. or My Eyes Glaze Over. All those starving brown babies over the years blur together. ‘It’s too surreal when you’re watching television. Famine. but overloaded. ‘You can see real trueto-life pictures. but your mind reacts to it almost as if it’s just a movie.

Is an image which refers only to itself still an image? However this may be. pgs 55-56. that image raises the problem of its indifference to the world. digital and synthetic. but in the sense of a compulsion for what is presented. for example.* The real object is wiped out by news – not merely alienated.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Not only do we become indifferent to these images – we become hostages to them and information becomes catastrophe – this is worse than violence itself – although we can still see the suffering we can’t and won’t do anything about it because the object of the images is abolished completely Baudrillard 94 [Jean. was to be attacked by the Iraqi army’. it sets itself up as a deadly selfreference. as it were. as mystified TV views. Anticipation of effects. 1994] It was not the dead that were the scandal. and our being held hostage too. it becomes a bachelor machine. we were able to say. but abolished. Professor of Sociology and Philosophy. the video image. that hysteria of the virtual – not in the psychological sense. morbid simulation. Nothing is news if it does not pass through that horizon of the virtual. to show something up as a fake. are images without a negative. In the past. emotional blackmail. All that remains of it are traces on a monitoring screen. in all bad faith. . and thus of our indifference to it – which is a political problem. was felt to be worse than the violence itself. whereas the TV image. It was the same on CNN with the arrival of the Scuds. with Romania and the Gulf War. shows us a convoy of refugees ‘which. was felt to be a parody of history. but the corpses being pressed into appearing before the television cameras. All the media live off the presumption of catastrophe and of the succulent imminence of death. ‘It’s just TV!’ Photographic or cinema images still pass through the negative stage (and that of projection). ‘It’s put on for the cameras!’. especially in a noble and revolutionary cause. When television becomes the strategic space of the event. ‘It’s all romance!’. as in the past dead souls were pressed into appearance in the register of deaths. we said: ‘It’s just play-acting’. the contagion of images. It was their being taken hostage. engendering themselves without reference to a real or an imaginary. and hence without negativity and without reference. They are virtual and the virtual is what puts an end to all negativity and thus to all reference to the real or to events. The Illusion of the End. At a stroke. some time after this shot was taken. itself becomes virtually without limits. Being blackmailed by violence and death. and this limitless engendering produces information as catastrophe. This time. A phot in Liberation. as real to be consumed as unreal.

not only because the government has kept the NGOs on a short leash. Center for Media Literacy] This dynamic explains why the life of Africa's varied and diverse countries is missing. other agencies. reforestation and environmental awareness. and. No better proof exists of how delivering humanitarian aid has become a business. the agencies usually get away with it. Most telling of all. Save the Children ran an advertisement with a photograph of a pathetic-looking African child that read in part: "Zaire: Desperate children need your help. notably the French branch of Doctors Without Borders and the International Rescue Committee... but not the rejuvenation of its cities and the cultural vitality of its village life. but their sons. This supercharges our link.. Rieff 97[David Rieff.about oppression and massacres. to withdraw in early 1995. were more than willing to fill the "vacancy" left by the departing NGOs. The aid allowed those loyal to the old regime to survive. No "beneficiary" country had ever dared demand that kind of respect. But while courageous. Right or wrong. this withdrawal was little more than a symbolic gesture. the aid agencies found themselves in the position of feeding not only innocent refugee women and children.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Representations of desperation allow aid agencies to exploit identity for capital and political interests instead of actually helping. by extension. but when the ad ran in the British press the children in question had been cut off from aid for weeks. It ignores the possibility of Africans helping themselves. about poaching and habitat destruction. Nonetheless. including other national branches of Doctors Without Borders. but because it became apparent that humanitarian intervention in the absence of a political solution solves nothing. fathers. They never show black people helping themselves. many of whom had participated in the 1994 genocide. Former Zimbabwe Director of Information. and launch guerrilla attacks from the refugee camps into Rwanda. but not ongoing active efforts at conservation. In eastern Zaire. what role the aid agencies would play. But the ad continued. The agency's officials were flabbergasted. . Jan/Feb] A telling example was the recent decision by the British branch of Save the Children to launch an appeal for Rwandan refugees in Zaire at a time when their fate. Out of Africa: Media Stereotypes Shape Images. and husbands. Senior Fellow of the World Policy Institute at the New School for Social Research. We are providing high protein biscuits. "Save the Children is able to help these children. Makunike 93[Ezekiel Makunike. regroup. But then. although recently the Rwandan government expelled a European agency for using a pathetic photograph of a Rwandan child in one of its campaigns without first consulting the Kigali authorities." That may have been the agency's intention. in Somalia and elsewhere. and it was by no means clear when or if that would change. Western representations report one-sided stories that don’t offer the complete picture and positive things occurring in Africa. economic self-help and political development. It is this sort of pious hyperbole. the experience of Rwanda has been chastening for many agencies." that provokes his indignation. This realization caused a number of agencies. Charity on the Rampage: The Business of Foreign Aid. Foreign Affairs. We hear about famines and coups. brothers. what Maren calls "exploitation of children for fundraising." That was doubtlessly true.. and blankets to help save lives. medical supplies. news reports show outside white people helping the black people. but not education. was unclear.

one could witness Bourdieu and Abbe Pierre offering themselves as televisual slaughtering lambs trading with each other pathetic language and sociological garble about poverty. To reconstitute reality. And to those who have found in a radical delusion of reality (and this includes the belief in political rationality. they are in the absolute need to do what they do. it has become necessary to replenish the pond of values. while we are dead. Even if it is by the use of the most heinous of all paroles: "One must do something. .Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Bereft of values. These are not my words. and unexplainable. The people of Sarajevo are not bothered by such questions. Susan Sontag herself confesses in her diaries that the Bosnians do not really believe in the suffering which surrounds them. It looks like as if we are in the midst of an immense feeling of guilt. are negotiable and for sale on the speculative market. but do not really believe in it. misery and suffering becoming the basic stuff of the primitive scene. just like the global debt. This reality exits as such . I gather that society is merely expressing its own disappointment and longing for an impossible violence against itself. And this reality has nothing to do with the so-called objective reality of their plight. and which is linked to the end of history and the downfall of values. All these "corridors". opened by us to funnel our foodstuffs and our "culture" are in fact our lifelines along which we suck their moral strength and the energy of their distress. in a process that guarantees the suffering must continue Baudrillard 94 [Jean. shared by intellectuals and politicians alike. We exchange our pity for their pain. and it must be preserved. and in doing so. "At the moment. Yet another unequal exchange. our society demands images of suffering from others to replenish our moral sentiment.there is no dearth of mediators who take some surplus value of financial or symbolic nature along the way. to do the right thing. the intellectual-political market . we see distress. Ours is a victim-society. the other its purposeless convulsions and its inertia. Loss and suffering. paired with human rights is the sole funeral ideology. "No Reprieve For Sarejevo"] The problem lies indeed in the nature of our reality. They end up finding the whole situation unreal. but hell of what may be termed a hyperreal kind. They harbour no illusion about the outcome and do not indulge in self-pity. At the most it is an excuse for one's own powerlessness and a token of self-pity. The status of victimhood. both of them locked in a perverse agreement. and which we do so much deplore. which supposedly rules us. and which very much constitutes the principle of European reality) a kind of alternative courage. This is why we feel the need to salvage the reality of war in our own eyes and to impose this reality (to be pitiable) upon those who suffer from it. nor for liberty. by the way: they say it so. Those who do not directly exploit it do it by proxy . Thus. a New Intellectual Order is following on the heels of the New World Order. to do something for the sole reason that one cannot do nothing never has been a valid principle for action. September 28. that is. so that it can be useful as a referent within the theatre of western values.which is in no way undermining the military-industrial complex of old & sinister days. It is hell. they would never have been able to stand up to it. We have got only one. which should not exist. But Susan Sontag herself is not the issue. This is why they are alive. made even more hyperreal by the harassment of the media and the humanitarian agencies." Yet. replenishing our game reserves with artificial fowls. One cannot remain idle. by making something cultural and something theatrical out of it.it is the stark reality of action and destiny. Everywhere. one needs to head to where blood flows. This is what it means to be really existing. and to do so by using that smallest common denominator which is the suffering of the world. including "solidarity". Everywhere. Then. the pond of references. they live in a kind of ghost-like war which is fortunate. because it renders the attitude of the world towards them even less unfathomable. She is merely a societal instance of what has become the general situation whereby toothless intellectuals swap their distress with the misery of the poor. that is to survive a senseless situation. both of them sustaining each other. not so long ago. to exist within reality. This parallels the way the political class and civil society are swapping their respective misery: one throwing up corruption and scandals. Thus. senseless. Being where they are. it has become impossible to show anything else than suffering in the news broadcasts on television". because otherwise. despite the fact they are in the midst of war and utter distress. to these people Susan Sontag comes to convince them of the "reality" of their suffering. Our whole society is thus on its way towards "commiseration" in the most literal sense of the word (under the cloak of ecumenical bathos). reports David Schneidermann.

Discussions on the concept of development. Somehow the notion acquired during such a debate seems to be that we still live largely in a harmonic environment. Human Geography v79 n4 Current Development Thinking. In the majority of cases. Even if the times of intensive solidarity manifestations of 1968. A major role in sensitizing the students to development issues before their enrollment in the university is often played by various television programmes. For those continuing the course up to the field visit. at that stage. . If asked to identify common barriers to development we find.CO%3B2-C. Prof. e. at the Dept of Human and Economic Development Goteberg University] Regarding the question of what development stands for. To most of them development means a process of change. When returning to the same issue. coupled with the need to overcome a general lack of knowledge on international issues. a list of basic needs.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The belief that help is altruistic and pure is naïve at best. mention that their visions of development have become increasingly complex. Aid is always accompanied by an ideological and political agenda. The Aff claims that they just want to “save Africa” don’t accurately represent the reasoning behind such intervention. Geografiska Annaler: Series B. in which we in the north are willing to give up part of our material well-being in favour of the less advantaged. self-articulation and peace. Development Thinking: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice. Attempts to establish a universal ground to explain development are constantly challenged during the time in the field. this is through pictures of starving children or other disaster pornography. at that stage. education. This is coupled to normatively positive words. motivated them to apply for this particular course. health and infrastructure. in the dialogue with the other. Suddenly the gap between theory and practice has widened enormously. on the basis of the issues mentioned. Most of the students. i. are not prevalent today. as well as the confrontation with African reality.0.e. Contributing to this has been the academic reading. In some cases the dependency structures and power relations are also mentioned as essential. Often it is also claimed that embedded in the concept of development we find environmental concern.jstor. with the Vietnam War and apartheid in South Africa. Commonly.org/sici? sici=04353684%281997%2979%3A4%3C217%3ADTBTGB%3E2. nuclear power etc. many are taken aback from this idealistic naiveti. Ass. In most cases students have found that the analysis of why a certain problem has come about is seriously lacking.g. students are influenced by major debates--on the European Union. students just entering the course normally take a rather neutral stand. the meaning of development. http://links. Development tends to acquire more of relativity. tend to turn into a virtual shopping list on what we in the north can do to assist the poor people of the world. which hopefully moves in a positive direction. during the end of the field course another picture emerges. students of Development Studies consider that a general interest. individual well-being. such as peace and democracy. Narman 97 [Anders.

“Whether she lives or dies. . as if we have involuntarily contracted some kind of disease that we’re stuck with no matter what we might do. Moeller 99 (Susan.” stated one ad. assistant professor in the philip merrill college of journalism at the university of Maryland. War and Death” 1999.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The affirmative tells you to vote aff or else horrible things will occur and we’d be complicit this mindset desensitizes us to suffering. we say.” In turning away we become culpable. page 9) Most media consumers eventually get to the point where they turn the page. “Either you help or you turn away. it becomes routine to thumb past the pages of news images showing wide-eyed children in distress. death will be this child’s only relief. If we turn the page originally because we don’t want to respond to what is in actuality a fund-raising appeal. And so we’ve come to believe that we don’t care. But we can’t respond to every appeal. depends on what you do next. Famine.” Turning away kills this child. its curse is on our heads. Because most of us do pass the advertisement by. although in the guise of a direct humanitarian plea. “Because without your help. “Compassion Fatigue : How the Media Sell Disease. We are responsible. We’ve got compassion fatigue.

html “Why forget the holocaust”) The knowledge of the atrocities substitutes one outcome for another. to the social memory of the past. Treanor 04 (Paul. University of Amsterdam Urban planner.inter. and you get another.to release or spread certain information. It is not the atrocities themselves which led to military intervention: it was the image of those atrocities for western public opinion. The Serbian student is admitted. Kosovo-Albanians are killed. . Suppress the knowledge. http://web.Treanor/forget. That applies also to historical knowledge.nl. and you get one outcome: release it.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Knowledge of atrocities is not a priori valuable – we must consider the release of social knowledge of atrocities and the consequences that cannot be wished away – it is the imagery which creates atrocities. or not.net/users/Paul. public knowledge is often a result of deliberate decisions . These decisions are therefore subject to moral assessment: the effects of the knowledge of atrocities should be taken into account. or not. Although there is no tap to close off all knowledge of large-scale events.

the Cambodian mass murders. Auschwitz . There is no clear distinction here. which answers atrocities with undirected massive military force. and the Holocaust. in the the real political culture of western nations? There is no doubt that atrocity stories such as those from Kosovo are deliberately spread. .Treanor/forget. Consider this fictional example: An investigator for Amnesty International visits a poor country in Africa. Appeals to atrocities as justification often refer to both recent and historical examples. There is no absolute right to disseminate knowledge of atrocities. is its selectivity.considered an evil too great to be called simply 'an atrocity'. propaganda and espionage . But in the fictional example of the Amnesty investigator. one outcome is substituted for another: the death of the villagers for the continuation of human rights abuses.University of Amsterdam Urban planner http://web. Knowledge of past atrocities is equally selective. In the presence of a hegemonic superpower.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn We have no responsibility to bear witness to atrocity – the 1ac is simply an example of substituting one atrocity for another – in response to the horrors of humanity. Without the film. He discovers that terrible atrocities are being committed in a military camp. it was the Amnesty investigator who was wrong. Treanor 2004 (Paul . the daily NATO press conferences were also daily atrocity reports. he visits a village next to the camp. that governments publicly appeal to them to justify their actions. He tells the villagers that he will publicize the human rights abuses. to substitute the suffering of one for the suffering of another. In how far is knowledge of atrocities a deliberate decision. even greater harms can be done in the name of a just system of ethics – ultimately – the 1AC amounts to playing god with the lives it judges – in fact. Any mobilization of relief only participates in this cycle of atrocity. The media also report independently on atrocities. to the disadvantage of others. increases the publicity. there is a moral duty to silence on atrocities. Cambodia would have retained the status it had in another title: a book on the US war on Cambodia is titled "Sideshow". As in the example of Kosovo. they kill him and destroy the evidence he has collected. Three historical atrocities are repeatedly quoted: the Gulag. During the Kosovo war. in the global media. there is a tap to 'close off the knowledge': the action of the villagers changes the outcome.always unclear . the public would know as much about the war in southern Sudan. Before leaving the country. The very fact. Above all. realizing that they will die in a major attack on the base. that a new US President has promised a "year-long rain of bombs" on all human rights abusers. as they knew about Kosovo. He expects the villagers to thank him. The distinction between war reporting. The best evidence that the public knowledge of atrocities is the result of deliberate action. between knowledge of present atrocities and past atrocities.html “Why forget the holocaust”) Now consider the issue from the point of view of those affected by (western) public knowledge of atrocities. If it were simply a case of western media reporting human suffering. The Amnesty investigator is playing God with the lives of the villagers. for protecting their human rights. The western public does know about the Killing Fields of Cambodia: the use of the film title indicates why they know. He reminds them. focusing upon and bearing witness to atrocity only guarantees the perpetuation of disaster.almost disappeared during the Kosovo war. There is no right.nl.net/users/Paul. But they are systematically publicized anyway: governments and military organizations hold press briefings and publish reports.inter. And in the fictional example. and in turn this material is used by governments. Is this legitimate self-defense? I think it is. Instead.

hapless and hopeless? The report goes on to say: “A key development on the business front was the rapid increase in Chinese and to some extent Indian investment in African countries. Africa director at the World Economic Forum. . a year widely acclaimed as “The Year of Africa.the media. Africa posted an unprecedented growth of 4. which prompted Haiko Alfeld.5 percent. the report says.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Africa has made significant economic progress in recent years.” the World Economic Forum reports “a new resolve [by Africans] to promote the African business and investment climate. to declare that the African continent has “emphatically and irreversibly turned the corner. In 2005 alone. trade and investment between China and Africa has tripled.as well as the affrefuse to acknowledge that Africans have the ability to sustain their own happiness Olujobi 06 (Gbemisola “The Africa You Need to Know” http://www. “These positive trends seem set to continue beyond 2006.truthdig. 2006) Also grievously ignored by the Western media is the fact that a good number of African countries have made real progress over the last few years. “The trend has continued into 2006. In just a few years.” Is anyone listening? Africa indeed has turned the corner.com/report/item/20061128_the_africa_you_need_to_know/ .” Really? Will someone please tell the whole world that Africans are capable of helping themselves. and that they are not helpless. Many African countries extended economic reforms and put in place structures to fight corruption. with the pace of such engagement becoming particularly vigorous during 2005. as has the phenomenon of South African business expansion into the continent.” In its review of 2005. Posted on Nov 28. given their long-term nature.” And what is more.

not only do they link to disaster porn. Dire portraits are painted through relentless images and emotional language. but it can be terribly misused.” Once a story commands the attention of the media—or once the media deems a story worthy of attention—reporting styles. Symbolism is a useful psychological tool. the media so fix a conception in our minds that we cannot imagine the one thing without the other. or turns your insides to bloody slush like Ebola—it’s hardly worth mentioning in print or on air. but all of those things are components of entertainment. It can be misleading. selection of images and even the chronology of coverage all follow a similar agenda. It can lead to great cruelty and injustice. but their evidence is also untrue Moeller 99 (Susan. consumes your brain like mad cow disease. but to Americans specifically. page 9-10) By power of suggestion. A crisis is represented as posing a grave risk.” said Browne. assistant professor in the philip merrill college of journalism at the university of Maryland. “Compassion Fatigue : How the Media Sell Disease. choice of language and metaphor. use of sources. Other distortions occur. War and Death” 1999. not only to humanity at large. . “We do mislead. Sensationalized treatment of crises makes us feel that only the most extreme situations merit attention (although the media still self-censors the worst of the stories and images from crises—such as the most graphic pictures of those Kurds killed by Iraqi chemical weapons in Halabja or the photos of trophy bits of flesh and body parts flaunted by Somalis allied with Mohammed Farah Aidid).Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The media intentionally mislead to make the stories more interesting. Famine. “We have to use symbolism. Unless a disease appears to be out of a Stephen King horror movie—unless it devours your body like the flesh-eating strep bacteria.

) . . the retailers of care-giving products like nurses' uniforms. The cultural logic is worth spelling out here. Targeting working-class boys and men. the editors promised a slick package with advertising pages that were "interesting" enough to grab the attention of readers. of course. young and old. would have been shocked and scandalized by the suggestion that there were any similarities between their journal and the pulps. Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. in a competitive market. bandages." and "enjoyable" qualities? The respectable purveyors of American Red Cross Magazine. are continually keeping in view the great end that has inspired them from the beginning. Delicious Horrors. and baking powders. informative as to little-known. 417-455] Do you like stories—real stories—true stories—stories of heroism. they believed that this involved transforming the magazine "into one of the most attractive and interest-commanding publications in America." 77 To court advertisers. The editors were always eager to emphasize the high purpose of their journal: "The men who are making this Magazine. —to make the Red Cross a real power in spreading the doctrine of the Good Samaritan and that they are building the magazine for the benefit of the greatest humanitarian society in the world and its members. But they also had to entice readers and to satisfy advertisers who wished to reach the broadest audience possible. American Quarterly 55. . and good ones? . But as readership surpassed the one million mark. even thrilling and entertaining articles scheduled to appear in the Red Cross Magazine during the year. plenty of them. There are many intensely interesting. promising readers action and violence unencumbered by meaning or what they scathingly dismissed as "philosophy." "entertaining.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Real stories are elevated to be thrilling as justification for more subscribers to consumerist advertisement. and generally enjoyable to patriotic and humane people." The new and improved magazine suddenly became attractive to advertisers with deep pockets who could be tapped to provide further revenue for the Red Cross. stories of self-sacrifice. pulp publishers were little concerned with genteel standards of good taste." The editors of American Red Cross Magazine were by contrast very much concerned with "philosophy" and with their civilizing mission.—articles that will be educational as to your country's official humanitarian agency. businesses and publishers alike espied an "advertising bonanza. enterprising achievements of your Government. In the early days of the periodical only a few businesses had purchased promotional space." To achieve this goal they had to win subscribers.Why was a humanitarian journal so eager to emphasize its "thrilling. ("When writing to advertisers please mention the Red Cross Magazine" was emblazoned across the bottom of the advertising pages. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. and. At the same time they directly implored readers to patronize sponsors. stories of humane effort? And do you like pictures.3.

helping to raise billions of dollars in aid.alertnet. http://www. But the pictures also sparked soul-searching among aid agencies who felt they reinforced debasing stereotypes of Africa and robbed the subjects of their dignity. Staff writer for AlertNet.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The root cause of disaster pornography is competition between NGOs. . Twenty years ago. but now some experts say fierce competition for donations in a ballooning NGO sector has led to an alarming resurgence in shock tactics that critics call "development pornography".14 Sep 2005) Starving black babies pleading silently for help. such images thrust Ethiopia's deadly famine into the global spotlight.org/thefacts/reliefresources/112669283410.htm. “Aid workers lament rise of 'development pornography'”.the Aff solves Gidley 05 (Ruth. That soul-searching led to the development of voluntary standards on the use of images in charity fundraising and appeals.

From the subscription figures of the AP.they provide disaster pornography to over one billion people a day Kromah 02 (Alhaji G. Equally powerful are the Reuters news agency. . The key world news agencies are owned by shareholders in Western countries. Given the nature of psycho-socio homeostasis history has produced. one may exponentially determine the collective influence of the Western wire services. The AFP is the world's oldest news agency. whenever events were reported from the continent. founded in 1835. and the Agence France Press (AFP) commonly called the French News Agency based in Paris. is the largest news organization in the world providing news. http://www. founded in the United States. April 30. photos and video for more than one billion people a day. and like Reuters.org/africa_westernmedia. According to its own information bulletin.V. are two of the four leading wire services with monopolistic effects. The AP says it serves 5000 radio and television stations in the United States.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The western media controls the globe’s perceptions. operating out of Britain. which was founded in 1848. The Perspective. 2002) For more than three decades now. AP. They set the tone and duration of international topical issues. “Africa In the Western Media: Cycle of Contra-Positives and Selective Perceptions”. the news agencies tailored the news coming from Africa. it has stringers and correspondents around the globe. These four Western-based wire services for many years virtually determined what the audiences in their home countries heard about the rest of the world and vice versa.html. news agency wire service has continued to be a critical means of news transmission globally. former Assistant Professor of International Communication & Media Law at the University of Liberia. The Associated Press (AP) and the United Press (UP). and has nearly 9000 subscribers to its services from 121 countries.theperspective.

Makunike 93[Ezekiel Makunike. Center for Media Literacy] As a journalist I understand that "news" is still defined as a usually negative departure from the norm. They certainly never appreciate the subtleties and nuances of local history and interactions that take years to learn. ix-xxxviii p. In the case of this news blackout at least. my observations are necessarily "out of Africa. “The artistic market and the reorganization of urban visuality generated by the culture industry and the fatigue of political voluntarism are combined to make unrealistic any attempt at making of high art or folklore the proclamation of the inaugural power of the artist or of prominent social actors. the "hit-and-run" mentality of Western media makes it easy to briefly light up trouble spots. or academic discipline such as anthropology nor the scrambling of these representations through the intersection of these institutions or other contingencies provide a foundation for the epistemic privilege of any one individual or collective subject.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Don’t privilege the lives saved in the 1AC over those who will be destroyed by “Humanitarian Intervention” – there is no basis for the epistemic privileging of any one individual or collective subject position – aka there is no reason to privilege one act of atrocity over the next Yúdice 01 (George. doesn't help. By definition such journalists know little of the language and less of the cultures they cover. xv – xvi) Although Garcia Canclini understands that such hybridity undermines such dualisms as North/South. As in Somalia.” Translator’s Introduction: in Nestor Garcia Canclini. profits and the bottom line dominate concerns about values and ethics. European/indigenous. the media. Garcia Canclini. Former Zimbabwe Director of Information. concentrates on the mediation of institutions that never permit one or the other to prevail completely. unlike Bhabha or Haraway. then jetting on to the next venue. labor and consumer markets. folk/mass – “cultures are no longer grouped in fixed and stable wholes. gone tomorrow" nature of much international reporting. the negative patterns of coverage I've described were often conditioned by colonialism and Cold War politics. Out of Africa: Media Stereotypes Shape Images.” I would go a little further and elaborate this insight: neither the representations disseminated by government agencies. it is still very much a dark continent. As a Zambian. Consumers and Citizens: Globalization and Multicultural Conflicts. Admittedly. understand or explain developmental situations that may change slowly over time. American Studies @ NYU “From Hybridity to Policy: For a Purposeful Cultural Studies. The "here today. or of being popular because one manages the meaning of objects and messages produced by a more or less closed community (an ethnic group. I also recognize that in the eternal media race for larger circulations and higher ratings. The image focused media grab public attention only until the next image and halt structural change. pp. . the voluntarism that proclaims the “epistemic privilege” of the oppressed. for the very same reason." But these observations of Western media shortcomings could be applied to many parts of the developing world. with star newspersons briefly crowding each other at media feeding troughs. a class)”—he also eschews. and therefore the possibility disappears of being cultured by knowing the repertory of the “great works”. while the years of exploitation and deterioration that produced them are left in the dark. they reinforced a pattern of ignorance and distortion that has not changed with the changing political systems. Unfortunately. Between representation and its undoing by hybridity. They are neither accustomed or equipped to observe. a neighborhood.

Pictures of famine victims are often presented without context and without the subjects' names. emaciated child in her mother's arms was not really a good image to use because it was a stereotype and an Irish child would not be portrayed naked in the same way.alertnet. http://www.htm. Another big problem is when one person's striking image becomes an icon for a tragedy. and was forced to move to a different place.14 Sep 2005) But many aid workers are reluctant to write hard and fast rules.org/thefacts/reliefresources/112669283410.we are NOT helping by using these methods of conveyance Gidley 05 (Ruth. and farmers in Ireland could relate. Staff writer for AlertNet. Paul Lowe. said a man photographed in India crying over his dead daughter was then ostracised by his community for showing weakness. instead preferring to promote good examples to ensure best practice. a photojournalist who has worked in famines around the world. . “Aid workers lament rise of 'development pornography'”. "It's very illustrative of what's going on. On the other hand. Noone said a Concern appeal for Niger showing a naked. she said Irish agency Trocaire had avoided stereotypes by using an appeal showing a family against a backdrop of land that had turned to desert." she said.persons who are exploited by the media are then ostracized by their communities. critics say. bringing long-term and problematic consequences to the individual.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Disaster porn doesn’t take into account those who are being photographed.

Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Negative images and portrayals are not necessary.’” Americans expect the worst.” they are more likely to run striking but essentially negative news images than feel-good pictures. The media rarely act on the basis of the “pleasure principle.” said Malcolm Browne. this tendency may partially account for Americans’ compassion fatigue. and the photographs in the media—whether ad campaigns or humanitarian appeals—reinforce their audience’s predispositions. “Compassion Fatigue : How the Media Sell Disease. Famine. page 35-37) As various academic studies have observed. The direct mail with the positive photographs garnered slightly more donations and greater sums of money per household than those with the negative images. As a page-one leader. Identical appeals were married to either upbeat (clean child smiling) or depressing (dirty child sad) images. Asia and the Middle East—commonly feature mayhem and pathos. the journalist who took the iconic Vietnam War image of the burning monk. . and since the media prioritize bad-news images. assistant professor in the philip merrill college of journalism at the university of Maryland.studies show that positive portrayals are more successful Moeller 99 (Susan. not necessarily attached to the story. Details within. but with a reefer saying. “I think we do care more now about the really poignant image from wherever it happens to be. Yet various studies conducted on direct-mail fund raising in the donor community have suggested that most people have a distinct preference for positive photographs. photographs which accompany stories on international affairs— especially from Africa. War and Death” 1999. ‘Here’s your BB [Bloated Belly—shorthand for “starving child”]. “As for international news. Threatening and painful images cause people to turn away.

Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The alternative is not framed in a way that makes our kritik the type of “Floating PIK” that they allege that we are. Plus. Topic specific side bias – infinite things that could be detained and lack of kritik links off of a decrease in authority guts neg ground. PIKs force in depth research into the assumptions behind the aff 2Most real world. Since the ballot doesn’t set a argument. in-roundteam –is the fairest wayparadigm theory. 3Opens up new space for discussion. Stop whining and defend your representations. Potential abuse is not a voter – we didn’t do it and it’s impossible to quantify. Now our defense: 1. Group the theory. picks the framework for the debate. and has infinite prep. but what can be done to fix the problems with the presentation of the 1AC. theory over 2. lawyers lose on they way they present their arguments. We are simply claiming that our methodology does not prevent your harms from being solved. Reject the precedent.minor amendments are added in congress. . they can’t prove a reason why we jacked their ability to beat the rest of our positions.if we win our framework. Err neg on theoryStructural side bias – the aff has first and last speech. we can discuss not only what is bad. decreasing education. It’s the same thing as turning the internal link to all of your advantages with a disad. not the abuse the punishment to judge rewards substance. first our offense: 1Increases education – choose depth over breadth. 3.

has been enabled not only by revulsion against cruelty. by the (covert) pleasures afforded by representations of suffering. But sentiments are never unmediated.3. which played a pivotal role in the rapid expansion of the Red Cross in the second decade of the twentieth century. . Certainly. in disconcerting ways. This halts true unmediated compassion. identified and exploited a causal relationship between sensationalism and compassion." and "entertaining." "exciting. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. but we should surely ask what cultural assumptions and desires were in place to make this appropriate fare for the readership of a humanitarian journal." Suffering had to be graphic. To some extent this was an obvious reporting technique. spectators were becoming little more than consumers of the violent images and stories offered up for their pleasure and distraction. and bloodshed. violence. Sontag and many other critics of mass culture portrayed sensational tales and spectacular images of suffering as hazards to unmediated compassion. with critics like Susan Sontag lamenting that repeated exposure to representations of suffering was as likely "to deaden conscience as to arouse it. readily available and acceptable to muckrakers and yellow journalists alike at this time. American Quarterly 55. it seems. an over-investment in supposedly "authentic" human feelings has led scholars to miss the essential contribution of mass culture to humanitarianism. but also.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Barrages of spectacles to generate an emotional response create an inauthentic compassion based on pleasure and distraction. Delicious Horrors. these and similar anxieties would culminate in a full blown critique of the spectacular society. a barrage of impressions of misery had supposedly alienated people from authentic feelings and from their natural sympathies." In the society of the spectacle. As we shall see. Robert Scott's experience in Alaska certainly suggests a complex and significant relationship between sensationalism and humanitarianism. the editors of the American Red Cross Magazine. according to this now familiar diagnosis. Indeed. Red Cross volunteers and staff members gave a great deal of thought to the task of making suffering (and relief work) "interesting. resolving to make their own accounts of suffering more "vivid" and "thrilling" in the hope of attracting readers and members to the organization. it had to be stirring. 417-455] By the second half of the twentieth century. and by desires to help those less fortunate. Modern compassion. Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. A growing number of contributions to the magazine during these years present sensationalized descriptions of misery.

and they understood that reason had to be engaged if compassion was to produce moral action. after all. In the Middle Ages.3. and he insisted that any history of humanitarian sentiment had to take the deliciousness of horror into consideration when it traced the birth of conscience and compassion. the "pleasure in killing and torturing others was great. embarrassment. placing vivid accounts of suffering before the spectator in order to provoke an imaginative identification with the misery of victims. Once a sympathetic bond had been established. and Smith. 417-455] The deliciousness of horror has rarely been acknowledged in histories of the origins of humanitarianism. This was the very history that Norbert Elias set out to assay in his own magisterial study of the "civilizing process. philosophers like Smith and Hume were hardly oblivious to the more unsavory aspects of human nature. The enduring power of Elias's work comes from his insistent and careful attention to the relationship between structures of feeling and social conditions and to his awareness that moral pronouncements have always been tied to class formation. and it continues to be taken for granted in many scholarly investigations into humanitarianism. Adam Smith articulated one of the central tenets of this "school" when he described "sympathy" as one of the "original passions of human nature. and henceforth it was in bad taste even to expose oneself to scenes of violence and atrocity. arguing that it was actually a "symptom" of civilization. early thinkers generally agreed that the secret to activating compassion was to appeal to the senses rather than to reason. is much better known today for placing the pursuit of self-interest at the center of modern economic theory). Much of this scholarly literature remains faithful to the spirit of eighteenth-century Anglo-American moral philosophy. the idea that compassion was a natural emotional response to the sufferings of strangers quickly became conventional in philosophical circles. Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. Significantly. charity would follow. Still. Nietzsche pointed out that in Ancient and Medieval Europe it had been conventional to delight in inflicting pain or in witnessing the sufferings of strangers. Thus the true starting point for my own study of humanitarianism is The Genealogy of Morals. 1 . was transformed into an offense against nature. "joy in the destruction and torment of others. They were fully aware that people were motivated also by malice and other less altruistic drives (Smith. In his seminal and still influential Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). American Quarterly 55. and it was a socially permitted pleasure. What we require is a social history of sentiments and senses. it was assumed. Upon this foundation it was possible to erect a critique of natural sympathy and a more satisfactory account of the origins of humanitarianism." Brutality." which charted rising thresholds of shame. Delicious Horrors. Hume. once socially acceptable. Of course. particularly to the insights of Shaftsbury. and repugnance about ungoverned emotions and bodily functions." it became socially unacceptable to express. The problem with this approach is that it tends to take emotions and desires for granted.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Calls for compassion institute a civilizing process based on the Ethics of Pity." But with the advent of modernity and the demand for "stricter control of impulses and emotions." One of the most important tasks of moral philosophy in this tradition has been to identify the conditions that enable natural compassion to emerge and to flourish. or even admit to. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. he explained." He challenged the notion that compassion was a timeless "natural" faculty. Nietzsche's path-breaking 1887 study of the "ethics of pity.

Indeed. unsafe workplaces. American Quarterly 55. un-American. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. was fighting a "capitalist's war. and all too often has.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The compassion produced by spectacles of suffering justifies other forms of oppression by separating those who are virtuous through compassion and those who are inhuman. it becomes the locus of our desire. The structural aspects that allow for suffering remain. Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. The wealthy businessmen who ran the Red Cross during the First World War. Even as George Creel and the CPI campaigned to overturn the popular belief that the U. Of course. could feel virtuous without having to trouble over such matters as low wages." financiers and industrialists were exploiting the prestige of the American Red Cross to undermine the enemies of [End Page 441] business. Delicious Horrors. the Red Cross was supposed to be a source of national unity and social harmony. become an alibi for other forms of oppression.3. 417-455] The compassion produced by spectacles of suffering can. or even their own contributions to a war machine that was producing the slaughter in the first place.S. it can be argued that the Red Cross consolidated ideological assent for an often-exploitative industrial social order at a moment of profound corporate vulnerability—by casting strikers and radical dissenters as unpatriotic. for example. This is because of the addictive nature of suffering spectacle. and inhuman. .

they begin to experience an "emotional discomfort" severe enough to become a "compulsive motivation" that drives them to perform the acts of virtue that they hope will cleanse or expiate their bad feelings. then. perhaps compassion cannot exist without a taste for spectacles of suffering. after all. depending instead on habit or peer pressure or even scrupulous moral deliberation.3. When the aff images are read. Maybe Augustine was right. it stops any real compassionate progress. Greenspan submits that the principal spur to charity in our own time is the guilt men and women experience when they respond inappropriately to the misfortunes of others. After all. the logic laid out here provides suggestive insights into the emotional world of early-twentieth century humanitarians. a good deal of humanitarian activity has very little to do with emotion. Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. enabled readers to take an ambivalent pleasure in spectacles of death and destruction while simultaneously feeling virtuous and compassionate. ultimately.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The spectacle of suffering makes us feel delight and guilt which we ride off as enough compassion. Nevertheless. American Quarterly 55. 417-455] Inquiring into "the role of emotion in moral motivation. of producing that mingled delight and guilt that produces compassion and. If people believe they should feel sadness or horror but instead feel a strange titillation (which seems to be the modern fate). assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. The very act of reading a humanitarian journal surely satisfied most readers of their compassion and decency." the philosopher P. and thrill of American Red Cross Magazine stories begins to appear as a means of riveting the attention of ordinary Americans on the suffering of strangers. Delicious Horrors. romance. The spectacle. it is surely not the case that all modern people do experience guilt or discomfort when amusing themselves with spectacles of suffering.S. this magazine was only distributed to Red Cross members. acts of charity. The form and content of the magazine. . Greenspan's rhetoric of compulsion is unsettling. Moreover.

this can only occur through the discursive severance of getting rid of evidence that supports our link claims from the 1ac.that’s bad b/c it means the negative would always lose to aff conditionality. they could get out of all our links to disads and k’s. which is bad and a voting issue: in order for the permutation to solve it would have to overcome all of the solvency deficit arguments implicit in our link and impact claims.voter for fairness and competitive equity 3The perm will always link: as long as they attempt to achieve political action in the interest of preventing another said atrocity. making all our arguments not competitive b/c the affirmative spike would always loom.our argument is that your use of remembering atrocities to justify political action is bad and causes the harms of the 1ac to continue 2Its severance.it makes them a moving target. .Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Permutation debate. they will still link.group it: 1It’s not competitive: There is no alternative to permute.

the most successful late-night talk show host on US television. slavish element of the term brand. and something we have only been able to touch upon here.52 Sometimes a brand connotes more than we would wish. were paid $200.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The perm is just an excuse for the replicating cycle of escalating imagery. to have the show’s logo tattooed in ink on the former’s knuckles and the latter’s forehead. and his above “joke”. The apparently benign concept of branding the US like any other commodity image is in fact a stark indication of how "The Land of the Free" is in fact imprisoned whether it is thought of in terms of Narcissus’s pond surface or Žižek’s screen. whilst drunk. Žižek delineates two major post September 11 options open to America: it can either further fortify its sphere from which it watches world tragedies via a TV screen or it can ‘finally risk stepping through the fantasmatic screen that separates it from the Outside World. Professor of Communication Studies. In keeping with Jung’s above insight. It was made less than a month after the Abu Ghraib pictures first appeared in the US press and when delivered produced a large amount of laughter in the New York theatre audience to whom Letterman presents his show each weeknight. is the deeprooted nature of the West’s unhealthy relationship to the image and the way in which this has repeatedly prevented the West from stepping through that fantasmatic screen and engaging meaningfully with the Muslim Other. What I have tried to show. This is a failure that has typified the post September 11 political response. “The Pornographic barbarism of the Selfreflecting sign”. In order to provide the video’s publicity shot. accepting its arrival in the Real World. . This perhaps at least partially explains the insensitivity of David Letterman. IJBS. Any instance of disaster imagery creates a desire that we consume fresh ones while the impact of the previous fades away completely – this ideology has prevented the west from stepping through its indifference and being able to engage meaningfully to allievate suffering or dispel of violence. two of the homeless protagonists from Bumfights.51 The Letterman incident suggests that Žižek’s second option is unlikely to be taken up by America in the near future and the complex reasons for this is a major theme of Baudrillard’s work. from its immediate aftermath right up to recent events in Iraq. however. Volume 4 Number 1. Its nature is such that once consumed there is an almost immediate demand for fresh images. Rufus Hannah and Donnie Brennan. published 2006] A key element of Pornography is the short-lived nature of the viewer’s attention span. social pornography reveals the darker. Taylor 06 [Paul. The same tendency is evident in social pornography in which political discourse requires fresh images and the impact of the old ones fades rapidly.

au. But these arguments are often forms of wishful thinking— ways of salving our consciences rather than saving the world—and make anthropology.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Liberal claims to solvency are only tactics to soothe our conscience. a "politics of pity" rather than a "politics of justice.html. 31 the patience and stoicism with which they go on. or that describing the intolerable conditions under which the poor live and die will "speak truth to power" and somehow alter the way power is wielded. We all fall back on time-worn liberal assumptions that improved knowledge—in this case.edu/journals/spiritus/v004/4. or that exposing the self-serving interests that lie behind the discourses of dominant States and corporations will somehow embarrass the rich and powerful into making life less burdensome and miserable for the powerless. practical interventions.ts.edu. ethnographic knowledge of people's lives in marginal environments— will somehow facilitate real."32 . liberalminded anthropologists may have no other options than those that have been invoked and deployed by European liberals for the past 200 years. and wars are waged for control over scarce resources.uq.westga.1jackson. not ways to alleviate and decrease suffering in the world. or we show that suffering is somehow redeemed by the creativity with which people rebuild and reimagine their lives.isil. Jackson 04 (Michael. http://muse. Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality. in Boltanski's terms. The Prose of Suffering and the Practice of Silence. of Anthropology at Univ of Copenhagen) But can the intellectual succeed in accomplishing what the sufferer cannot? Or are our attempts to communicate or publicize the pain of others little more [End Page 54] than stratagems for helping us deal with the effects this pain has had upon us? In a world in which human misery is increasing as the divide between haves and have-nots widens. prof.

to become true.questia. any representation.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Their claim that their representations are “true” recreates hierarchies and silences alternative discourses. of Government.com/googleScholar. while the others are false) at the cost of silencing alternative representations. “Defining Social Constructivism in Security Studies: Normative Dilemma of Writing Security” http://www. 27. This is shown by indicating how alternative options "circulated"--and still are around--in the political struggle for founding a hegemonic discourse and how they were silenced by the now dominant discourse. Huysmans 02 (Lecturer in politics at Dept. Alternatives vol. has to establish itself as hegemonic (often by claiming it is a true representation. . Consequently.qst?docId=5002461851) The critical quality rests on the assumption that representations of the world make a difference (performative force of language) and that there is no natural or neutral arbiter of a true representation.

Humanitarianism became a mass phenomenon in the United States at the very moment that a sensationalistic mass media began to dominate American culture. 27 This surely helps to explain why pornography might suddenly (and for the first time) be overrun with eroticized depictions of pain in the age of humanitarianism. feeling. 417-455] When we are dealing with spectacular bodies and the "modern gaze. Delicious Horrors.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Images of suffering create desire for the repressed world of death and destruction. and it lends great force to historian Karen Halttunen's conclusion that a pornography of pain was "not merely a seamy sideline to humanitarian reform literature but rather an integral aspect of the humanitarian sensibility. assistant professor in the American studies program at Smith College. and destruction over the last two centuries. But it is not finally enough to explain modern prurience about suffering bodies simply as the return of the desires repressed by civilization. the more tantalizing they were and the more eagerly (if surreptitiously) readers and viewers responded to their sensational representations.3. arguing that the conspicuous modern fascination with images of pain and suffering was essentially pornographic. death." 28 In her brilliant reading. Influence runs both ways. and responding to suffering by treating violence and pain as pleasure-producing commodities. The more taboo death and suffering became. The mass media itself played a crucial role in reshaping American ways of seeing." we enter decisively and unavoidably into the realm of desire. 26 It was Susan Sontag who first explored this matter at length. a reaction-formation to the increasing insulation of everyday lives from violence. . Since this desire has already affected us. according to this Freudian reading. American Quarterly 55. the representations cannot be separated from the plan. Rozario 03 [Kevin Rozario. the humanitarian movement was itself complicit in creating the sensational appetites that sustained the growth of the new mass culture.

they could just get up after any 1NC and say “we’re sorry. that’s not what we meant”.if we garner a link off of it.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn 1. you must defend it. 2. You have infinite prep time. If you cannot endorse your own authors. then they shouldn’t be in your 1ac. to say that it’s not your fault is the equivalent of reading an new speech. Shifts in advocacy are bad because: a. Your evidence frames the way in which you represent the harms presented in the 1AC. . If they concede this vote them down on fairness 3. The negative loses 8 minutes of their speech time. We create our 1NC based on your advocacy out of the 1AC. The aff has infinite prep time and if they can sever out of complete ideas in their evidence.

Scholars Lab Disaster Porn ***AFF ANSWERS*** .

News needs to be related to an individual's experience in order for that individual to take it in." she said. Susan Moeller." she said. "The number of NGOs is now uncountable. is part of a team writing new guidelines for European agencies to help staff choose pictures that can raise money without taking away the subjects' dignity. Images help to legitimate the use of the word "crisis" for an event. violence or destruction become concrete on a scale large enough to attract attention. Compassion Fatigue. I. Lizzy Noone. 38 With a distant event there is a need to make an audience "feel" the situation. corporeal.htm. "It's a truth. According to Tafari Wossen. Images effect that more easily.it’s the only way to solve Gidley 05 (Ruth. however transcendent. increasing public interest while making solutions more successful. "I'd stand by that. director of Journalism at Brandeis University.alertnet. who works for Irish agency Concern. but they didn't "feel" its effects until photography and television in the late 1950s and 1960s brought the emotional blow of racism to the front pages and airwaves.14 Sep 2005) Jenny Matthews. there were only seven NGOs involved in the aid response during a famine in his country in 1974. the public would get used to it very quickly. Disaster pornography plays a key role in raising funding for people in need.org/thefacts/reliefresources/112669283410. pointing to a picture of a baby in her mother's arms being fed by tube." he said. It is the role of imagery to make the incorporeal. http://www. have a child." . pg.especially at a time when NGOs are sprouting up all over Africa and competing for limited funds from a Western public that some say is experiencing "compassion fatigue". journalist and writer. and people were willing to take that little drop of income for the transition period. said that sometimes a striking picture of a suffering infant needed to be used.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Images and analogies humanize events so that people can relate to them. who has made a career photographing women in conflicts and is frequently hired by aid agencies. which respond more readily to flesh-andblood people than to ephemeral concepts. Staff writer for AlertNet. but added: "If all the agencies did it at once. That is how images tap so easily into our emotions. 1999. a former public relations official with the Ethiopian government. too. A "crisis" occurs when the abstractions of injustice or racism or prejudice or pain." And fundraisers say the starving baby pictures tug heartstrings and bring in cash . partly because common ground can more readily be discovered in a photograph than in paragraphs of text: That is a picture of a child. “Aid workers lament rise of 'development pornography'”. "The fundraising department argue that softer images don't bring in the money. Northern whites had long acknowledged the legal apartheid of the American South.

Annals of the Association of American Geographers September 98. Associate professor of Geography at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.”. Certain persistent television images can create imperatives of obligation and responsibility. These images provide a unique source of intelligence for foreign policy decisionmakers and viewing publics. particularly cases of egregious human rights violations. . enabling them to better visualize how a particular crisis is playing itself out in a remote location (though they hardly capture the complexity of crises). Gearoid Tuathail. The ability of new media organizations to deploy satellite systems that can beam back "live" images from geopolitical hotspots has speeded the pace of diplomacy and statecraft in the late twentieth century. 2000. But these image and information flows give crises an immediacy and proximity that can undermine the restricted strategic and moral geographies of foreign policy decisionmakers.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Images of suffering and conflict can be used to pressure the government to act ethically. This can create awkward dilemmas for foreign policymakers as they become caught between the universal geographies of moral responsibility associated with "humanitarianism" and the much more circumscribed geographies of "vital national interests" based on strategic calculations and obligations (Nye 1999). in regions that are strategically marginal and geographically distant (Rotberg and Weiss 1996). “De-Territorialized Threats and Global Dangers: Geopolitics and Risk Society.

provokes a sickened abstraction. of our having been drawn so far into the 'liberation' of the medium and the image that the question of freedom cannot even be posed. the spectacle. the event will. And this represents an absolute advance in the consciousness . scepticism and unconditional apathy. have not served as demystifiers of news and its guiding principle. it anaesthetizes the imagination. news could be said to undo its own spell by its effects and the violence of information to be avenged by the repudiation and indifference it engenders. but also to undeceive us about the real. fostering detachment that is crucial to life in the modern age. the guiding principle itself is never questioned. While. together with a surge of adrenalin which induces total disillusionment. nonetheless. “The Illusion of the End” p. . What penalty is laid down for such a hijacking? There is no way to rectify this situation and we must have no illusions: there is no perverse effect.of our age. the banality soaking up all these things in their operation. Just as we should be unreservedly thankful for the existence of politicians. in that sense. Television and the media would render reality [Ie reel] dissuasive. distance. at the same time. a hijacking of fantasies. The finest revenge over this new arrogant power. then. is the international consciousness foiled by its own ideal. It is simply the (immoral) truth of news. and this is the finest collective demystification we have ever known. the secret purpose [destination] of which is to deceive us about the real. were it not already so. In this way. But can news and the media really be put on trial now? Absolutely not. For. for the simple reason that the media themselves hold the key to the judicial enquiry. all the same. Never again shall we be able to look at a television picture in good faith. so we should be grateful to the media for existing and taking on themselves the triumphant illusionism of the world of communications.or the cynical unconscious . every word. as compared with the perpetrating of a true massacre? This is another kind of crime against humanity.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Obvious manipulation of the images demystifies news and catastrophe reporting. There can be no contesting their innocence since 'disinformation' is always imputed to an accident of news-gathering [information]. 1994 [Jean. One might ask whether the Romanians. There is no worse mistake than taking the real for the real and. if the media image has put an end to the credibility of the event. Who can say what responsibility attaches to the televisual production of a false massacre (Timisoara). the very excess of media illusion plays a vital disillusioning role. constituting a permanent test of intelligence. the stereotypes. And yet there will.a crime of blackmail and simulation. for where better than on television can one learn to question every picture. and the artificial heaps of corpses will have been of some use. in its turn. by the very excessiveness of this staged event and the simulacrum of their revolution. 60-61] Here. have been a kind of verdict in this Romanian affair. the whole ambiguity of mass culture. Baudrillard. Through the world's becoming-image. The Gulf War merely accentuated the disastrous impression of our having been drawn so far into simulation that the question of truth and reality cannot even be posed. nor even anything scandalous in the 'Timisoara syndrome'. who take on themselves the responsibility for that wearisome function. affects and the credulity of hundreds of millions of people by means of television. have put an end to the credibility of the image. the confusion of ideologies. every commentary? Television inculcates indifference. hoist with its own petard. this power to blackmail by events.

" where war. Television has unleashed what Ignatieff (1997. It has "contributed to the break-down of the barriers of citizenship.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn International representations are producing a global moral conscience. 2000. In the 1990s the development of transnational television networks and the capacity for "real time" coverage of breaking international crises has extended this impact. Gearoid Tuathail. Annals of the Association of American Geographers September 98. “De-Territorialized Threats and Global Dangers: Geopolitics and Risk Society. anarchy and starvation are the rule. religion." creating in the process an emergent "global conscience" (Ignatieff 1997. linking us to the struggles of others. 10) terms an "electronic internationalism" linking the consciences of the world's "tame zones" to the sufferings of the world's "wild zones. The emergence of television as a dominant mode of mass communication between leaders and populations first impacted the practice of geopolitics in significant ways during the Vietnam war (the broad relationship between popular media and geopolitics goes back to the nineteenth century). and geography that once divided our moral space into those we were responsible for and those who were beyond our ken. race. 11).”. . Associate professor of Geography at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

"She's only five. She died on the table from shock while Dr Nikanovich was sawing." her father told Nezira Bektic who went into the room to collect his shirt. Such lurid descriptions of violence and suffering can be accused of sensationalizing and spectacularizing war. In Srebrenica: a man who had fled from the village of Vlasnica waited outside an operating room while Dr Nikanovich tried to amputate his daughter's leg with a metal saw. Associate professor of Geography at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. inevitably troped and even anticipated as they may be (not to mention subvertible). Annals of the Association of American Geographers September 98. Gearoid Tuathail. “De-Territorialized Threats and Global Dangers: Geopolitics and Risk Society. Yet. I can't go in.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The violence in the representation of the affirmative forces us to confront issues we would otherwise ignore. There was no anaesthetic for the pain (17 March 1993). such descriptions nevertheless force us into eye contact with actualities we would prefer to avoid. a textualizing of Bosnia into the "war-is-hell" cannon. 2000.”. . O'Kane's matter-of-fact style forces us to contemplate the postmodern horror of modern weapons and pre-modern medicine.

This also counts for the way security studies reproduces security language. This is made possible by means of a political sociology of the crucial "element" upon which the dilemma depends: the power-knowledge nexus. to increase its capacity for securitization the professional knowledge produced by security Professionals--which can include academics--should be formulated in a technical. 27.qst?docId=5002461851) This research project focusing on the institutionalization of threat environments does not escape the normative dilemma of social-constructivist security studies. the dilemma rests on the general assumption that utterances have a performative force and that agents uttering security do not fully control the way they utter and the effects of the utterance." It depends on the position from which the utterance is spoken and on how it is constructed. . rational language. But because it cuts into the dilemma from the question of the rarefaction of security utterances. As with any security analysis. Alternatives vol. It could be argued that Bigo's own research does not formulate that technical knowledge and therefore it undermines its own capacity to securitize. “Defining Social Constructivism in Security Studies: Normative Dilemma of Writing Security” http://www. which is probably exactly what it intends to do. Bigo's research implies that his own statements have not the same capacity to securitize internal affairs as a more technical research that tries to correctly define threats and so forth. some security utterances have a higher capacity to mobilize security disp ositions than others. Bigo has overcome the dilemma. I do not want to argue that. as a result. of Government. it differentiates the normative dilemma somewhat.questia. for example. by uttering security language it risks confirming the securitization of an area that it would prefer not to be securitized. contested area of migration. But the research project of Bigo and my overinterpreted Waever have the advantage of differentiating how one is caught by the normative dilemma by means of differentiating between the transformative capacity of utterances.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Truthful evidence should be accepted regardlesss of representations Huysmans 02 (Lecturer in politics at Dept. they will become subjected to an intersubjective game that interprets and reinterprets texts and manipulates its effects.com/googleScholar. When his utterances enter the political. Why? In his interpretation of the process. In other words. Sociological inquiries into the conditions of the mobilization of security dispositions can show that not all utterances have an equal capacity to "securitize. For example. As stated up to now.

a discursive formation is constitutive for the social emergence of an object. It will always articulate a criminological discourse of itself because that discourse makes it possible for the question to appear. (22) Such an oscillating strategy is problematic from the social-constructivist perspective outlined above. Therefore.com/googleScholar. It assumes that a true. Jumping back in a representational argument at the crucial point is not a viable move. this strategy assumes at some point that the unwanted effects of the criminological or security discourses can be remedied by a correct representation of the world of migration. while the critical moment resides in a representational interpretation of language. Therefore. there is something problematic or schizophrenic about it. or whether ma ss attention paid to phenomena related to international crime acts as an instrument in the justification of new investment.questia. The main force of its criticism relies on the distortion in the representation that it "discovers" in the discourses it researches. It has to engage more directly and exclusively with the discursive forma tion in its performative and generic dimensions. The object only appears within a discursive formation. The analytical moment of the research dwells within a performative understanding of language. A new label for old phenomena may assist policymakers in finding approval for new proposals. this is not the case. if objectively assessed. undistorted history of the object of research (for example.qst?docId=5002461851) Although one should not rule out the critical value of this kind of research. In the social-constructivist understanding of language.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Correct representations depict the true nature of that which they represent Huysmans 02 (Lecturer in politics at Dept. of Government. Consequently. establishes a greater threat to the internal security of EC member-states than it did a decade ago. the relationship between migration and crime) is possible. . “Defining Social Constructivism in Security Studies: Normative Dilemma of Writing Security” http://www. an undistorted history of the relationship between migration and crime is no longer possible. The question should therefore be whether international crime. In other words. Rather than being a history or semiology of the referent object. in other words. the social-constructivist perspective has to go the performative way a bit further than the oscillating strategy. It thus seems to call for an undistorted representation of the problematics of migration. 27. Alternatives vol. a social-constructivist analysis stresses the interpretation of the governing work of discursive formations. an object of research cannot be separated from discursive formations within which it becomes visible.

Whereas care ethics is usually directed toward a specific known person. the Politics of Compassion isolates a shared humanity that calls our emotion. Hypatia 21.3 A politics of compassion links the universal and the particular in that it assumes a shared humanity of interconnected. such as with refugees. Porter 06 [Elisabeth Porter. not just those representations that are spectacular. including the moral requirement of compassion. professor and head of the School of International Studies at the University of South Australia. In various instances. the role of compassion enlarges and adopts an important feature in the relationship. I endeavor to clarify where there are clear overlaps between care ethics and a politics of compassion and where the differences are important.Our Affirmative is the Politics of Compassion. I draw explicitly on care theorists. . The main similarity between care ethics and a politics of compassion lies in the commitment to the particular. The main difference lies in the focus of attention. pg. I draw more broadly on other international relations and moral theorists to argue that a focus on compassion fosters a more thorough ethical response to politics than many current versions of care ethics because it enables responses to those political issues that are outside of our immediate everyday relationships. there is a fine line between care ethics generally and the distinctiveness of a politics of compassion as I am developing it. 97-123] Admittedly. particular responses to different expressions of vulnerability. Infusing political action with a moral requirement of compassion allows us to act even when we do not see or know the specific individual. a politics of compassion extends the political domain in which compassion might operate to include examples where we do not personally know the people requiring care." The "ethics of care" broadened into a "politics of care" and a "politics of compassion" extends these debates so that in situations where there is a lack of previous history and everyday relationship between the parties involved. Where history and relationships are blurred or non-existent. contextualized characteristics of care. vulnerable people and requires emotions and practical.4. There often is a conceptual convergence of themes. and thus in elaborating on compassion.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Permutation . or civilians killed by the "smart bombs" of the "war on terrorism. women raped in war. Can Politics Practice Compassion.

our nation. I am supporting a strong notion of compassionate justice that accepts responsibilities toward "particular others" who can include "actual starving children in Africa with whom one feels empathy" (Held 1987. For example. 161). to do so is naïve." thus the concept of care does not translate readily to the wider political problems of hunger. but a merging of a compassionate drive with a search for justice. then regardless of our specific nationalities and races. poverty. pg. 15 . Susan Mendus argues that "identity and morality are constituted by actual relationships of care between particular people. 114). Bell 1998. We cannot assume responsibility for all suffering. equality. 97-123] Some feminists see the particularity of responsibility as an obstacle to realizing political compassion. Caring for someone necessarily encompasses a concern for his or her equality and rights. If we take seriously the idea of global interdependence. and war that require solutions for people we do not know (2000. 106). family. professor and head of the School of International Studies at the University of South Australia. 113) to humanity. Simone Weil's notion of "justice as compassion" also is one in which mutual respect for all humans grounds our obligations to prevent suffering and harm. city. Amartya Sen also believes we have a "multiplicity of loyalties" (1996. and rights. 118). some responsibility to try to alleviate suffering whenever we can. and friends. community.4. Porter 06 [Elisabeth Porter. we have "duties" to people who are distant from us and belong to other communities (Midgley 1999.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn In a politics of compassion. She believes that we have an unconditional obligation not to let a single human suffer "when one has the chance of coming to his assistance" (quoted in R. it is not care alone or a particular relationship of care that enables compassionate responsibility. Hypatia 21. compassion is merged with an unconditional responsibility to ground our actions. As I am arguing. refugee status. however. Can Politics Practice Compassion. We can assume. This qualifier is important.

and values is undergoing. adversity. characteristically involving imaginative dwelling on the condition of the other person" (509). . compassion involves a "feeling with" another person. rather than what we ourselves would feel" in a similar situation (510). 97-123] Most theorists understand compassion as some combination of three factors—feelings. Often. What marks the subject of compassion is the graveness of a situation in which persons or groups experience serious pain. empathy. destitution. misery. and cosuffering. Blum categorized compassion as an altruistic virtue given its regard for the well-being of others. "The limits of a person's capacities for imaginative reconstruction set limits on her capacity for compassion" (510). 507).4. Lawrence Blum discussed "compassion as a kind of emotion or emotional attitude [with] an irreducible affective dimension" (1980. grief. given his or her "character. Later. beliefs. or our daughter raped in war. Hypatia 21. to having our city bombed. anguish. despair. This is an attempt to understand it through the lens of another history and identity. First. and suffering. torture. professor and head of the School of International Studies at the University of South Australia. affliction. pg. distress.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The compassion of the aff is premised on identifying with the condition of the Other. Can Politics Practice Compassion. we come to some understanding of someone's plight by imagining what our reactions might be. I give instances of politicians' conspicuous lack of imaginative identification with many groups who clearly are suffering and desperately in need of compassion. hardship. "but a complex emotional attitude toward another. Porter 06 [Elisabeth Porter. This imaginative dimension visualized what the other person. agony. for example. Blum explained that compassion is not a simple feeling. or our friend called a terrorist simply for looking Middle Eastern. hardship. In an early influential article.

Can Politics Practice Compassion. Second. "we fail to risk the vulnerability of being truly open to others" (2000. Yet the process of opening ourselves to others' situations is. empathy. pg. and it requires meaningful responses to particularity that avoid presumptuous paternalism. Hypatia 21. Admittedly. I argue elsewhere that we must put ourselves in the position of others to grasp the nature of our differences. Seyla Benhabib has supported an egalitarian reciprocity that recognizes "the dignity of the generalized other through an acknowledgement of the moral identity of the concrete other" (1992. 164). the 2002 Bali bombings. In response. or elsewhere. as I argue more fully later. Porter 06 [Elisabeth Porter. or who continue to lose loved ones in Afghanistan. part of beginning a dialogue. As I expand upon later. feel the pain differently from those who watch television accounts. Iris Young maintained "that identifying moral respect and reciprocity with symmetry and reversibility of perspectives tends to close off the differentiation among subjects that Benhabib wants to keep open" (1997. the greater likelihood we have of being able to understand some of this person's deep needs.4. Palestine. 184). To this end. otherwise. Those who lost loved ones in the 2001 attacks on the United States. if we understand compassion as "the capacity to feel for others and. the 2003 Madrid bomb. we may be repulsed by our differences. 97-123] Most theorists understand compassion as some combination of three factors—feelings. Clearly. For example. the 2005 London bomb. compassion is grounded in the universality of human vulnerability. to some extent. share their emotions and enter into their predicament" (Porter 1999. . Those involved in refugee advocacy or who befriend asylum seekers listen to firsthand narratives and can empathize with firsthand knowledge of peoples' pain. the more we seek to identify with another.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Opening ourselves to the Other allows us to begin a dialogue based on a shared humanity and the narrative of the Other. Israel. in doing this. 41). Iraq. feminists are divided as to the extent to which one can empathize with others. professor and head of the School of International Studies at the University of South Australia. there are limits to how fully we can identify with others. 175). and cosuffering.

fairness. selfdetermination. A critical compassionate stance is needed to break through the cultural and religious barriers that make women's education a low national priority in many parts of the world. Hypatia 21. and responsiveness are needed for deliberation about meeting peoples' needs. but. I agree with Fiona Robinson. imagination. 2). Porter 06 [Elisabeth Porter. reciprocity. Her point is that ethics in global politics is concerned not just with specific crises such as the moment when ethnic relations break down and erupt into violence. which includes compassion. She argues further that this "has resulted in the creation of a global 'culture of neglect' through a systematic devaluing of notions of interdependence. or barbaric genocide occurs. critical reflection also is needed on "the structures that create these needs or keep them unfulfilled" (1995. Robinson argues that the political priority placed on autonomy.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Politics of Compassion relies on ontology of interconnectedness which can address global concerns. is too personal and provides an unsustainable basis for ethical politics. or the "coalition of the willing" invades a country. critics counter that care ethics. The central component to Robinson's "critical feminist ethics" is the analytical scrutiny of the contextual relations within global politics. 97-123] First. It is also concerned with the nature and quality of "normal" social relations that contribute to processes of marginalization. exclusion. relatedness. pg. independence. Her emphasis on "a critical politicized ethics of care" (47) is crucial. professor and head of the School of International Studies at the University of South Australia. 144). and rights mean that liberal ethics characterizes the "acceptable voice of morality" in international relations. Take for example women's illiteracy. and powerlessness that so often prompt violent conflict (1999. However.4. Can Politics Practice Compassion. and positive involvement in the lives of distant others" (7). . 197). Compassion. noninterference. as Alison Jaggar reiterated. that a "critical ethics of care" that is characterized by a relational ontology accepts that "relationships are both a source of moral motivation and moral responsiveness" to global concerns (1999.

in that cancer. we are all vulnerable to suffering. not what I am going through. we quickly respond by recalling an incident in our own lives when we experienced a similar type of pain. Therefore. 75). "for without it. I am moved by what you are going through. "The other person's suffering is seen as the kind of thing that could happen to anyone. This allows us to evaluate what their needs are. Such attention requires a sympathetic engagement that expresses a valuing of the person. 120). Our story might help us connect with another. not about mine" (Spelman 1997a. professor and head of the School of International Studies at the University of South Australia. "in compassion. The respect is demonstrated by promoting another's good. Hypatia 21.4. and not because your pain has reminded me of my own past or present pain. While there is inequality of suffering. I am moved by your experiences. Can Politics Practice Compassion. retrenchment. 511). Further. death of one's child. As humans. This underlying respect for the feelings of others removes the arrogance of deciding for others whether their needs are "real" (Gilligan and Wiggins 1988.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The Compassion of the Perm values the place of the Other and the shared humanity between us all. 97-123] Compassionate co-suffering presupposes a sense of shared humanity. which can only transpire after careful attention to the other's needs. 132). Cosuffering occurs only when there is a "care respect" for others in which we try to discover how someone views herself and her world. or a terrorist attack could happen to anyone. concerned about your condition. 16). . Often. in listening to others tell of their pain. Thus respect for the equal worth of every person's humanity is crucial to compassionate cosuffering. not what we view as their needs. pg. compassion promotes the equality of possibility. compassion runs the danger of being a form of charity and condescension toward those less fortunate" (Bunch 2002. but we need to concentrate our attention on the other's plight in order to demonstrate compassion. "trying to understand what it is like to be her living her life from her point of view" (Dillon 1992. including oneself" (Blum 1980. Porter 06 [Elisabeth Porter.

. relatedness. imagination. or barbaric genocide occurs. Her emphasis on "a critical politicized ethics of care" (47) is crucial. that a "critical ethics of care" that is characterized by a relational ontology accepts that "relationships are both a source of moral motivation and moral responsiveness" to global concerns (1999. fairness. reciprocity. Take for example women's illiteracy. or the "coalition of the willing" invades a country. independence. is too personal and provides an unsustainable basis for ethical politics. as Alison Jaggar reiterated. 144). The central component to Robinson's "critical feminist ethics" is the analytical scrutiny of the contextual relations within global politics. and responsiveness are needed for deliberation about meeting peoples' needs.4. professor and head of the School of International Studies at the University of South Australia. pg. critical reflection also is needed on "the structures that create these needs or keep them unfulfilled" (1995. However. noninterference.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Politics of Compassion solve the structural social relations in the international arena that allow for marginalization. and rights mean that liberal ethics characterizes the "acceptable voice of morality" in international relations. Her point is that ethics in global politics is concerned not just with specific crises such as the moment when ethnic relations break down and erupt into violence. 197). and positive involvement in the lives of distant others" (7). and powerlessness that so often prompt violent conflict (1999. Porter 06 [Elisabeth Porter. self-determination. Compassion. A critical compassionate stance is needed to break through the cultural and religious barriers that make women's education a low national priority in many parts of the world. which includes compassion. critics counter that care ethics. but. 2). Robinson argues that the political priority placed on autonomy. exclusion. She argues further that this "has resulted in the creation of a global 'culture of neglect' through a systematic devaluing of notions of interdependence. Can Politics Practice Compassion. I agree with Fiona Robinson. It is also concerned with the nature and quality of "normal" social relations that contribute to processes of marginalization. 97-123] First. Hypatia 21.

pg. and economic rights" (Porter 2003b. we are more accustomed to emphases on autonomy and self-sufficiency than the need for protection." These dichotomies are not harmless opposites. They make people feel "at risk" simply for looking different or having a different faith. Absolutist dichotomies are blind to nuances. These rights include the right to seek asylum and the right to request assistance to secure safety in their own countries. "If you're not with us. professor and head of the School of International Studies at the University of South Australia. A classic example of this binary control is President George W. 78–79). Can Politics Practice Compassion. free world/axis of evil analysis cements an inclusion/exclusion that fails to comprehend the pain of those who are excluded. citizen/foreigner. 181) and this is why it is important that we care about each other.Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Compassion Solves Absolute Dichotomy / Inclusion-Exclusion A politics of compassion breaks absolute dichotomies and challenges security concepts and exclusions that shape the way the Other is framed. most care ethics literature refers to the vulnerable either as children or as those requiring welfare. Hypatia 21." a stereotyping of groups considered different from "us. and good/evil. terrorist threats must be dealt with appropriately. trust. but the means of national protection should not be at the expense of the emotional safety of such vulnerable groups as asylum seekers. Importantly. we often lose sight of personal powerlessness and politically equate vulnerability with minimizing the possibility of terrorist threats. States need to maximize security. Within liberal democracies. particular contexts. 433). tolerance. Porter 06 [Elisabeth Porter. Bell 2002. In the present international context. under United Nations conventions." A simplistic with us/against us. Bush's ultimatum. all the considerations of judgment needed for wise. compassionate decisions. Those with absolutist views see "illegal immigrants" and "queue jumpers" rather than desperate. and security. Those seeking such rights increasingly are facing governments with tightened borders. asylum seekers rightfully seek refuge." which minimizes harmful risk and reconciles differences (Ruddick 1990. civil. there has been a movement away from open tolerance to closed dichotomies based on an "othering. Since 9/11. and openness are essential for positive civic relationships. How democratic nations deal with the vilification or reconciliation of cultural and religious differences is central to the practice of political compassion. fearful people seeking legitimate asylum. Considerations of national security thus dominate over human security. you're against us.4. absolutist dichotomies are oblivious to the pain of those who are excluded. disability rights. the need for protection is powerful. like us/them. those most in need of protection. While care ethics recognizes that we all are vulnerable in the sense that fortune and fate are "morally arbitrary" (Porter 1995. 97-123] Particularly in the current global climate of heightened vulnerability to terrorist attacks. they "mask the power of one side of the binary to control the other" (D. . middle-ground positions. For example. The defense of human security can adopt an attitude toward the vulnerable of protective "holding. cultural. social. or health care. 9). and connections. Certainly. safety. friends/enemies. In multicultural states. but "there are broader understandings of human security that encompass social wellbeing and the security of political.

retrenchment. Hypatia 21. Co-suffering occurs only when there is a "care respect" for others in which we try to discover how someone views herself and her world. 132). 75). 97-123] Compassionate co-suffering presupposes a sense of shared humanity. 16). Thus respect for the equal worth of every person's humanity is crucial to compassionate cosuffering. or a terrorist attack could happen to anyone. Our story might help us connect with another.4. 120). This underlying respect for the feelings of others removes the arrogance of deciding for others whether their needs are "real" (Gilligan and Wiggins 1988. While there is inequality of suffering. 511). I am moved by your experiences. concerned about your condition. not what I am going through. death of one's child. "trying to understand what it is like to be her living her life from her point of view" (Dillon 1992. "for without it. . Further. "in compassion. not about mine" (Spelman 1997a. professor and head of the School of International Studies at the University of South Australia. in that cancer. we quickly respond by recalling an incident in our own lives when we experienced a similar type of pain. pg. The respect is demonstrated by promoting another's good. but we need to concentrate our attention on the other's plight in order to demonstrate compassion. Can Politics Practice Compassion. in listening to others tell of their pain. and not because your pain has reminded me of my own past or present pain. "The other person's suffering is seen as the kind of thing that could happen to anyone. Often. I am moved by what you are going through. including oneself" (Blum 1980. Therefore. compassion promotes the equality of possibility. Such attention requires a sympathetic engagement that expresses a valuing of the person. which can only transpire after careful attention to the other's needs. As humans. Porter 06 [Elisabeth Porter. compassion runs the danger of being a form of charity and condescension toward those less fortunate" (Bunch 2002.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Depictions of suffering allows us to experience co-suffering and compassion. This places the Other before us. we are all vulnerable to suffering.

Scholars Lab Disaster Porn ***REFUGEES ANSWERS*** .

with the politics of asylum and the politics of the war on terrorism have added complexity and impediments in the way of refugee advocates. accessed July 6. No. online: https://www. contemporary anti-terrorist legislation in most western states seems to have chosen economic interests at the cost of civil liberties. Refuge.yorku. rights. and subsequently the conditions of (im)possibility for refugee politics. and voice is fought. . In order to even begin to consider how movements and interests can struggle towards the protection. 1. thus illuminating the shifted terrain upon which the struggle for refugees’ protection. real and otherwise. The increasing links.ca/ojs/index. p. In an attempt to cope with this complex and paradoxical terrain. rights.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Protections are refugees are collapsing now – giving voice and political representation to the struggles of refugees is key to combating the most malicious forms of biopolitics Benjamin Muller. the shifted terrain characterized by paradox. this paper has attempted to draw out a number of core issues that have altered and challenged the struggle for refugee rights and a political voice. must be acknowledged. and an account of politics aware of the role of bio-power and the (instrumental) politicization of the biological body of refugees. and voice of refugees. and the biological body of the refugee becomes the political object/subject. biopolitics.library. In the struggle to resolve paradoxical commitments to the aims of neoliberal globalization and the (alleged) necessities of domestic security. Vol. diffuse power. 55. 2007 As a reflection on contemporary refugee politics.php/refuge/article/viewFile/875/449. A sensitivity towards the globalization-domestic security paradox. 2004. and the breakdown of many of the differentiations integral to international relations’ account of world politics. is a crucial step towards coming to terms with how to (re)think contemporary refugee politics. where the role of private actors increases. Simon Fraser University. states have further entrenched a biopolitics of asylum and refugee politics. 22.

and poverty replaced by conflict resolution and a sustainable peace ensured through reconstruction and development. political.2. and human context in which business operates. Images of the misery of refugees and other suffering people are beamed daily into homes around the world. The purpose of business is profit. Businesses have much to gain from seeing the negative spiral of conflict. simply be an act of charity or a convenient way to improve a company's image. signs of a strategic alliance between businesses and humanitarians are already emerging (see pp. Partnership with humanitarian agencies requires that companies accept responsibility and certain basic norms of ethical behavior. Business support should not. 164-165. Washington Quarterly 23. An Agenda for BuisnessHumanitarian Partnerships. Both have a joint long-term goal to make the world a more stable place. but it should not come at the expense of a broader vision of the social. forced population movement. . Largely as a result of a new global compassion sparked by instantaneous communications and the information revolution.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Despite all the negative’s arguments on how imagery affects individuals. which in turn opens up possibilities for economic development and ultimately prosperity. imagery is necessary to spur business and humanitarian investment. contributes to stability. for example. With more than 21 million refugees and others in need worldwide. stirring a desire to help. however. "Preserving Cultural Heritage"). Ogata 00 [Sadako Ogata. humanitarians need all the help they can get. Our 1AC proves why organizational aid comes first. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 167-170] Resolving refugee problems.

Coker 04 [Elizabeth Marie Coker. The findings suggest that refugees use certain narrative styles in discussing their illnesses that highlight the interconnection of bodily ills and refugee-related trauma. Illness talk and body metaphors are the focus of the present work. Anthropology. we will win a better internal link turn. Our proof is that our use of metaphors comes from first-hand accounts of refugees using metaphors. blood. Understanding the role that the body plays in experience and communication within a given cultural context is crucial for physicians and others assisting refugees. even disease and bodily ones. The use of embodied metaphors to understand and cope with their current and past traumatic experiences was echoed in narratives that were nonillness related. Psychology and Egyptology. “Traveling Pains”: Embodied Metaphors of Suffering Among Southern Sudanese Refugees in Cairo. and articulated illness causes in terms of threatening assaults on their sense of self as human beings and as part of a distinct community and culture. Their evidence is based on academia who claim to study the victims of disaster but who themselves are locked in an ivory tower. Egypt.Gonzaga Debate Institute 2007 Scholars Lab Disaster Porn Metaphors Give Refugees History / Culture – Ivory Tower Turn For all the distancing the negative claims we do. which is based mainly on an analysis of the illness narratives of people attending a church-run medical clinic. and body constriction were consistently used to discuss social and cultural losses. Culture. Department of Sociology. to explain their trauma in terms of a history and culture. Metaphors such as the heart. The American University in Cairo. March[ This paper presents the results of a larger study conducted among Southern Sudanese refugees in Cairo. The refugees narrated the histories of their illnesses in terms consistent and coterminous with their refugee histories. . Medicine. and Psychiatry.

but they are also about survival and struggle. Salgado believes he has failed if his work only provokes compassion. but children all the same. He wants his audience to understand that there is a solution.Scholars Lab Disaster Porn The negative assumes compassion is the only response to imagery. an Angolan girl in an old woman's dress. May] However it's not just the worthy subject matter that makes this exhibition so moving. a Bosnian boy standing in front of a wall pitted by bullets. 'Salgado has managed to keep making people sit up and take notice. The resulting photographs are powerful and striking--a Palestinian child born in a refugee camp in southern Lebanon. But whatever your view. . standing at the end of a straight path that leads back to a stationary train--where he lives with 120 other refugees--is a stunning composition. this is to spark actual politics. During Salgado's travels he was often surrounded by crowds of excited children. It is also the exceptional elegance and drama of the photography. as the British photojournalist Don McCullin recently observed. In exchange for peace and quiet he offered to take their pictures. Of course the images are about suffering. Its impact is strengthened immeasurably by the beauty of the image. Wall 03 [Tom Wall.' Neither is this exhibition especially depressing or gloomy. For example Salgado's shot of a small Croatian boy rubbing his eye. all defiant and strong. Consequently a considerable amount of space is devoted to the political campaigns of both the Brazilian landless workers' movement and the Zapatistas. Picture the Suffering and Struggle. Socialist Review. Nowhere is this struggle for survival more apparent than the section of the show dedicated to the children involved in migrations and upheavals. Our use of representations show the status of survival and struggle people have to endure.

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