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The Imagery of
Humanitarianism
An overview
Western Images of Humanitarians and
Volunteers:
1) Type of media
2) How identities of donor and beneficiary (or ‘Other’) a...
Colonialism (18th-19th c.)
o Media: Photography, Post Cards, Museums, Colonial Exhibitions
Identity: Donor: Paternalistic,...
French Congo (Date Unknown)
Belgian Congo (1910)
Christian Missionaries (19th-early 20th c.)
Media: photos; newspapers (faith-based or otherwise); museums;
documentary fil...
American Missionary (India, 1873)
Donor:
Paternalistic, but
humanitarian
Beneficiary:
Child-like,‘Savage’
but in need
char...
German Christian Mission School (South West Africa,
1910)
Twentieth Century:
Humanitarian Images
Media: Photography, Doc. Films, Television
Identity: Donor: Charitable, generous,
B...
20th c. Imagery of Humanitarianism (Post-Colonies; Cold War)
New role of International Development
Media: should represent...
Child Sponsoring: ex. Christian Children’s Fund (f. 1938-
China) (TV ads: ‘70s)
“Starving Children of Biafran War”
(Life Magazine, 1968)
The Aughts
Media: Photography, Doc. Film; Video; Internet
Identities: Donor: individual humanitarian, activist. Beneficiar...
Web 2.0 “Revolution” and Humanitarian imagery
interactive; user-produced content
increased reach of images/content
user id...
Donor/Beneficiary Relationships
Kony 2012: the consumer/activist
“Half the Sky”
(Celebrity Humanitarians model activism)
Donor/Beneficiary Identities: Hands Up For Haiti
Shift to Donor as Focus
Donor identity?
What do you think?
Images disseminated by Service Abroad students on Social Media
How do older versions of donor/beneficiary identities and r...
“A once in a lifetime opportunity
to do good in the world”
What’s “the story”
with health-related
study abroad—
and why do...
In three semesters of public/community
health study abroad in Ghana, I noticed:
• Students were oriented
more toward “serv...
“It was the photographs posted by other
students that inspired me to go on my first
overseas medical mission. When classma...
And from The Onion …
Some obvious ethical
questions:
• Confidentiality and Informed consent?
o Protected Health Information on Social
Networkin...
Silvia Taulés, reporting in the New York Times, July 12,
2015
“There were surgeries in the operating room almost daily,
and I would often assist with those. I will never forget
“scrubb...
Student social media use—a
risk, but also an opportunity
for growth and reflection.
Photo voice: “Often used in community ...
Writing a caption: SHOW
What do you See
here?
What is really
Happening here?
How does this
relate to Our lives?
Why does t...
Step 1:
Concrete or abstract?
Avoid generic images….
Pick a photo that reflects one of the best things
about your life:
Ca...
Step 2
Imagine you are someone from a different cultural
group, age, race or place. Someone who doesn’t
know you and your ...
Reflection
• Did the captions
change? In what
way?
• What was the
outsider missing?
• How might your
perception of
SHOW—
p...
• Autonomy
The right to participate or decline to
participate
• Do No Harm
Am I creating and using photos in a manner
that...
Using captioning to
enhance student
learning
Lessons from Health Sciences study abroad
Pre-departure
• “Things are not always as they appear”
o Context
o Empathy
• How will this direct photo taking or photo sh...
During the trip
• Directions: Each student selects a picture that they have already
taken. Caption it. Then re-caption it ...
After the trip
• Directions: Students asked to identify and caption photos that
represented the best things, the worst thi...
Example of a “Best
thing” photo
Example of a “Worst
thing” photo
Example of a
“Learning” photo
Concluding thoughts
• Benefits to ethical behavior
• Potential benefits to development of cross-cultural competency and
em...
Study Abroad & Photos
Administrative role
• Pre-departure
• During
• Return to campus
• Photo contest, 20/20, returnee events…
• Alumni
Administrative responsibility
• Marketing
• Expectations
• Reflection and learning vs. doing and saving
• What is our own ...
Transforming awareness
Ethical Guidelines
1. Be respectful and accurate when representing the host country.
2. Avoid stereotyping individuals and...
?
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad
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More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad

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Students post, tweet, and blog about their experiences overseas, and these narratives contribute to the growing popularity of study abroad. We must reinvent our pedagogy to adapt to this changing world and examine the stories that inspire student travel. How might they collide with the expectation of health equity and sustainable service? How can we promote self-reflection and cultural humility? An interdisciplinary panel – representing film studies, anthropology, and public health – will place the current debate in the context of postcolonial narratives, describe the potential for self-reflection, and offer a sample technique for using digital storytelling in trip preparation and in-class learning.

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More Than a Profile: The Ethics of Digital Storytelling in Study Abroad

  1. 1. The Imagery of Humanitarianism An overview
  2. 2. Western Images of Humanitarians and Volunteers: 1) Type of media 2) How identities of donor and beneficiary (or ‘Other’) are constructed 3) How their relationship is imagined 4) What image suggests about distance/proximity between public and the ‘spectacle’ of need or suffering
  3. 3. Colonialism (18th-19th c.) o Media: Photography, Post Cards, Museums, Colonial Exhibitions Identity: Donor: Paternalistic, ‘Civilized’ Beneficiary: Childlike, ‘Savage’ o Relationship: unequal, exploitative o Distance: emphasized between ‘uncivilized’ Other and viewing public
  4. 4. French Congo (Date Unknown)
  5. 5. Belgian Congo (1910)
  6. 6. Christian Missionaries (19th-early 20th c.) Media: photos; newspapers (faith-based or otherwise); museums; documentary films (later) Relationship: Charity; inequality assumed between donor/beneficiary; ‘mission to civilize’ ‘responsibility to civilize’
  7. 7. American Missionary (India, 1873) Donor: Paternalistic, but humanitarian Beneficiary: Child-like,‘Savage’ but in need charitable;
  8. 8. German Christian Mission School (South West Africa, 1910)
  9. 9. Twentieth Century: Humanitarian Images Media: Photography, Doc. Films, Television Identity: Donor: Charitable, generous, Beneficiary: Suffering, in need Relationship: of help and protection Distance of suffering increased through media (TV)
  10. 10. 20th c. Imagery of Humanitarianism (Post-Colonies; Cold War) New role of International Development Media: should represent the ‘Truth’ of Suffering Realism (‘seeing is believing’) (Vietnam War) Focus on beneficiary (suffering) Goal: to make suffering more urgent and immediate to gain donor support, political support
  11. 11. Child Sponsoring: ex. Christian Children’s Fund (f. 1938- China) (TV ads: ‘70s)
  12. 12. “Starving Children of Biafran War” (Life Magazine, 1968)
  13. 13. The Aughts Media: Photography, Doc. Film; Video; Internet Identities: Donor: individual humanitarian, activist. Beneficiary: in need but dignified; ‘success stories’ Relationship: individual-to-individual (equal?) Proximity of those need ever-increased (internet)
  14. 14. Web 2.0 “Revolution” and Humanitarian imagery interactive; user-produced content increased reach of images/content user identity: importance of public; online ‘self and the ‘profile’ (Facebook, Blogs) Focus on the donor Global (often celebrity) activist and consumer-based movements (Kony 2012, Half the Sky)
  15. 15. Donor/Beneficiary Relationships
  16. 16. Kony 2012: the consumer/activist
  17. 17. “Half the Sky” (Celebrity Humanitarians model activism)
  18. 18. Donor/Beneficiary Identities: Hands Up For Haiti
  19. 19. Shift to Donor as Focus
  20. 20. Donor identity?
  21. 21. What do you think?
  22. 22. Images disseminated by Service Abroad students on Social Media How do older versions of donor/beneficiary identities and relationships persist? How do new models (often internet based) of humanitarianism and volunteerism exert an influence? How does the increased proximity of those in need (enabled by the internet) affect the relationship between donor and beneficiary?
  23. 23. “A once in a lifetime opportunity to do good in the world” What’s “the story” with health-related study abroad— and why does it matter?
  24. 24. In three semesters of public/community health study abroad in Ghana, I noticed: • Students were oriented more toward “serving” than “learning”. • Students bumped up against the limits of health education • They took—and posted--a LOT of pictures
  25. 25. “It was the photographs posted by other students that inspired me to go on my first overseas medical mission. When classmates uploaded the experience of themselves wearing scrubs beside adorable children in developing countries, I believed I was missing out on a pivotal pre-med experience.” #InstagrammingAfrica: The Narcissism of Global Voluntourism, Lauren Kascak, Sayantani DasGupta, Sociological Images 2014
  26. 26. And from The Onion …
  27. 27. Some obvious ethical questions: • Confidentiality and Informed consent? o Protected Health Information on Social Networking Sites: Ethical and Legal Considerations. By: Thompson,, Black, Duff, Black, Paradise, Saliba,Dawson Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14388871, Jan- Mar2011, Vol. 13, Issue 1 • And more…Whose story is it?
  28. 28. Silvia Taulés, reporting in the New York Times, July 12, 2015
  29. 29. “There were surgeries in the operating room almost daily, and I would often assist with those. I will never forget “scrubbing in” on my first C-section – an experience I wouldn’t have again until my fourth year of medical school!” http://www.projects-abroad.co.uk/why-projects-abroad/volunteer-stories/?content=medicine-and- healthcare/medicine/ghana/genevieve-digby/
  30. 30. Student social media use—a risk, but also an opportunity for growth and reflection. Photo voice: “Often used in community research and to create dialogue among community members; the application of photovoice in this article turns the focus inward to ask students to explore their own thoughts and values.” Cray Mulder & Aubrey Dull (2014) Facilitating Self-Reflection: The Integration of Photovoice in Graduate Social Work Education, Social Work Education: The International Journal.
  31. 31. Writing a caption: SHOW What do you See here? What is really Happening here? How does this relate to Our lives? Why does this exist? To build our cabin in the Ozarks, each of the members of the five owning families participated. Here, Ginny Muller measures deck boards.
  32. 32. Step 1: Concrete or abstract? Avoid generic images…. Pick a photo that reflects one of the best things about your life: Caption it: Pick a photo that reflects one of the worst things about your life: Caption it:
  33. 33. Step 2 Imagine you are someone from a different cultural group, age, race or place. Someone who doesn’t know you and your life. Re-Caption photo 1 Re-Caption photo 2
  34. 34. Reflection • Did the captions change? In what way? • What was the outsider missing? • How might your perception of SHOW— particularly the Why or meaning be different? • Write One or Two paragraphs about this exercise: o What did you learn? o How did it feel? o How might this apply to a study abroad experience?
  35. 35. • Autonomy The right to participate or decline to participate • Do No Harm Am I creating and using photos in a manner that will do no harm to persons appearing in photos? • Fidelity Am I using photos in a context that fairly represents the real situation in this photo? • Justice Am I photographing people with the same respect I would show to neighbors and strangers in my home community?
  36. 36. Using captioning to enhance student learning Lessons from Health Sciences study abroad
  37. 37. Pre-departure • “Things are not always as they appear” o Context o Empathy • How will this direct photo taking or photo sharing? o Respect o Multiple interpretations o Understand cultural differences
  38. 38. During the trip • Directions: Each student selects a picture that they have already taken. Caption it. Then re-caption it from the point of view of a resident of the local city. • Outcomes: o What is the subject of the picture? • Centrality of the students as subjects vs. the sites they were taking pictures of. o Ordinary vs extraordinary conditions and behaviors
  39. 39. After the trip • Directions: Students asked to identify and caption photos that represented the best things, the worst thing, and a time of learning. • Outcomes: o Best thing: students themselves, their host families, or local staff o Worst thing: material discomfort (food, pollution, toilets) o Learning: internship site, homestay family
  40. 40. Example of a “Best thing” photo
  41. 41. Example of a “Worst thing” photo
  42. 42. Example of a “Learning” photo
  43. 43. Concluding thoughts • Benefits to ethical behavior • Potential benefits to development of cross-cultural competency and empathy • Work to develop a curriculum that promotes student engagement with cross-cultural issues in health care
  44. 44. Study Abroad & Photos
  45. 45. Administrative role • Pre-departure • During • Return to campus • Photo contest, 20/20, returnee events… • Alumni
  46. 46. Administrative responsibility • Marketing • Expectations • Reflection and learning vs. doing and saving • What is our own narrative?
  47. 47. Transforming awareness
  48. 48. Ethical Guidelines 1. Be respectful and accurate when representing the host country. 2. Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups. 3. Have you thought about the ways in which others who see your photo will interpret it and is there any reason anyone, including subjects in the photo might be offended by it? 4. Does this photo represent you the photographer as a responsible traveler and a respectful student of the University of Missouri?
  49. 49. ?

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