The Imaginations of Humanitarian Assistance: A Machete to Counter the Crazy Forest of Varying Trajectories

Authors

  • Omer Aijazi

Abstract

The United Nations cited the 2010 monsoon floods in Pakistan as the largest humanitarian crisis in living memory. The environmental catastrophe effected twenty million people and highlighted the complicated relationship between nature and society. The lives of extremely vulnerable groups such as subsistence farmers and unskilled labourers were severely disrupted by this catastrophe, forcing national and international observers to confront the uneven distribution of harm based on social factors in the wake of environmental disaster. In this visual essay, I explore the slow raging violence of floodwaters, which I witnessed as a humanitarian worker, and narrate a point of departure from social interventions after environmental collapse. The accompanying counter narratives draw the viewer’s attention to the politics of representation. They reveal the dominant discourses of domination of the Third World subaltern as enacted by humanitarian agencies. By juxtaposing photos and text, I invite the viewer to engage in a generative encounter that takes note of the tensions between disrupted communities and systems of international assistance.
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THE DE-POLITIZATION OF HUMANITARIAN AID PRACTICE

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How to Cite

Aijazi, O. (2014). The Imaginations of Humanitarian Assistance: A Machete to Counter the Crazy Forest of Varying Trajectories. UnderCurrents: Journal of Critical Environmental Studies, 18, 46–51. Retrieved from https://currents.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/currents/article/view/38546