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Democracy in CrisisViolence, Alterity, Community$
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Stella Gaon

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079238

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079238.001.0001

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Humanitarianism and the representation of alterity: the aporias and prospects of cosmopolitan visuality

Humanitarianism and the representation of alterity: the aporias and prospects of cosmopolitan visuality

Chapter:
(p.133) 6 Humanitarianism and the representation of alterity: the aporias and prospects of cosmopolitan visuality
Source:
Democracy in Crisis
Author(s):

Fuyuki Kurasawa

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719079238.003.0006

This chapter examines the way in which alterity is visually represented in Western media coverage of humanitarian disasters in the global South in terms of either pathologisation or victimization. It contends that the visual representation and mediation of distant events and persons have had an unprecedented constitutive power for the way that liberal democracy engages with alterity. This chapter establishes the representational and institutional conditions within which a humanitarian scopic regime operates and explores the aporetic nature of this regime's engagement with otherness and the dynamics through which it cannot but simultaneously negate and produce alterity in a manner that problematises the democratic imaginary. It also explores how cosmopolitan visuality posits alterity as both a fundamental problem and a challenge for democracy.

Keywords:   alterity, Western media, humanitarian disasters, liberal democracy, cosmopolitan visuality, democratic imaginary, otherness

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