TO PREY OR TO PROTECT?
Graphic human misery in focus
In the late sixties a small province, Biafra, declared itself independent of Nigeria. The orgy of close up photos of the children dying of starvation and the panedemics drowned us in images of such horror that many Europeans lay sleepness at night. Not since the images of the nazi concentrations camps had whole nations been so shocked, horrified and upset.
The three year long civil war (1967-1970) offered no means or options to flee and seek asylum, first of all because no country was prepared, secondly because no country was legally obliged. The 1951 Refugee Geneva Convention offered protection to refugees driven into exile because of the repercussions of the second world war and the amendment, the 1967 Protocol, added to the Convention and which enfathomed any refugee qualifying for Asylum criteria, was still not implemented.
Anyway, the needy and most vulnerable then, as still today, were in a far to weak condition to flee anywhere, little less having any finacial mean to be smuggeled to a potential host country.
The images of children dying in front of the cameralenses and broadcasted on global televized news was a new phenomenon because it was here and now and unedited. A heated discussion of where journalists, , news- and documentary crews should draw the lines in order not to violate the victims´integrity flared up and engaged the accademic elite in almost all subject fields with the philosopher Bertrand Russel being at focus of the turmoil.
To show in order to inform and make known or to avoid in order to respect the dying, the humiliated, the abused and the maimed ?
The question about making a living on other people´s utter...
Douglas Modig, Social Anthropologist, Therapist, Columnist, Writer, Hommentorp, Skåne, Sweden.
Chronicles and blogs addressing Social Anthropology, Psychology, Transcultural Psychsocial Science, Entertainment, Gossip, Politics, Literature, Music, Art and a multitude of subject matters, hopefully in a mixture of fun, scientific research and comments on contemporary life.