The Ironic Spectator: Solidarity in the Age of Post-Humanitarianism

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John Wiley & Sons, Aug 26, 2013 - Social Science - 248 pages
WINNER of the 2015 ICA Outstanding Book Award

This path-breaking book explores how solidarity towards vulnerable others is performed in our media environment. It argues that stories where famine is described through our own experience of dieting or or where solidarity with Africa translates into wearing a cool armband tell us about much more than the cause that they attempt to communicate. They tell us something about the ways in which we imagine the world outside ourselves.

By showing historical change in Amnesty International and Oxfam appeals, in the Live Aid and Live 8 concerts, in the advocacy of Audrey Hepburn and Angelina Jolie as well as in earthquake news on the BBC, this far-reaching book shows how solidarity has today come to be not about conviction but choice, not vision but lifestyle, not others but ourselves – turning us into the ironic spectators of other people’s suffering.



Detailed Contents
The Humanitarian Imaginary

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About the author (2013)

Lilie Chouliaraki is Professor of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics.

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