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Title: Mediated Suffering and the Global Imaginary: Representations of the Other in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
Authors: Alvarez, Mike
Keywords: mediated;representation;othered;homogenous suffering textural suffering
Date: 2014-09
Issue Date: 2016-08-23 17:54:40 (UTC+8)
Abstract: On November 8, 2013, the strongest Category 5 typhoon ever recorded in terms of wind speed enveloped the Philippines, resulting in the deaths of thousands and over ten millions without homes. Typhoon Yolanda (or Haiyan, as it was known worldwide) became such a media event that for a brief time, the Philippines and its people became the subject of intense news coverage. Drawing on Shani Orgad's notion of the global imagination, among others, the present study examines the mediation of suffering among Yolanda's victims. Specifically, it interrogates representations of the distant, suffering other by the West, as well as representations offered by the "othered." To explore the multiplicity of viewpoints regarding the event, five different discursive registers were analyzed: a CNN news footage; conversations in a YouTube forum; a collection of poetry; a self-published memoir; and a performative piece. Findings reveal an interesting dialectic between victims as helpless and victims as agentic, or responsible for the tragedy that has befallen them; between an exaggerated sense of cosmopolitanism and a reduction of the other to primitivism; between naïve optimism and stark realism; and between suffering as homogenous and suffering as textural. Possibilities for the contestation of narratives are discussed.
Relation: 文化越界,1(12),95-121
Cross-cultural Studies
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[文化越界 ] 期刊論文

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