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Geographien des Mitleids


Korf, Benedikt (2007). Geographien des Mitleids. Asiatische Studien / Etudes Asiatiques, 61(4):1165-1182.

Abstract

After the devastating catastrophe of the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, a veritable flood of donations reached the relief organisations in Europe. Arguably, the compassion of western donors with the tsunami victims went deep. It seems a paradox, then, that relief in tsunami affected localities has often created resentment. This article argues that the geographies of compassion that result from donations are potentially problematic for two reasons: first, compassion is unevenly distributed towards human suffering depending on the discursively constructed perceptions of a disaster through media coverage. Second, compassion is translated into charity through intermediaries, i.e. relief agencies. These intermediaries close the spatial gap between donors and recipients, but in
the process of doing so, they tend to reproduce the asymmetries of the donor-recipient relationship.

After the devastating catastrophe of the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, a veritable flood of donations reached the relief organisations in Europe. Arguably, the compassion of western donors with the tsunami victims went deep. It seems a paradox, then, that relief in tsunami affected localities has often created resentment. This article argues that the geographies of compassion that result from donations are potentially problematic for two reasons: first, compassion is unevenly distributed towards human suffering depending on the discursively constructed perceptions of a disaster through media coverage. Second, compassion is translated into charity through intermediaries, i.e. relief agencies. These intermediaries close the spatial gap between donors and recipients, but in
the process of doing so, they tend to reproduce the asymmetries of the donor-recipient relationship.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 61 (2007) > 4
08 University Research Priority Programs > Asia and Europe
Dewey Decimal Classification:950 History of Asia
180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
910 Geography & travel
Language:German
Date:2007
Deposited On:21 Aug 2009 13:10
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:19
Publisher:Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft / Verlag Peter Lang
ISSN:0004-4717
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-20242

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