PhD-Candidate: Wouter Oomen | Utrecht University | supervisors: Sandra Ponzanesi & Markus Stauff
Contemporary images used in charity fundraising aimed at the abolition of poverty are ingrained with a notion of a ‘common, global humanity’ (Boltanski 1999). This assumed shared base can be thought of in terms of shared values (Njoh 2006), universal human rights (Sliwinski 2009), basic human emotions or collective responsibilities (Illouz 2003). Fundraising, in short, visualizes globalization by targeting the idea of a shared human experience. This project revolves around the question how such a specific notion of a globalized world is imagined in fundraising. For this, long-term promotional activities, broadcasting events and social media campaigns will be addressed – media texts that present us with the visual culture of suffering and relief, and with narratives on grief and optimism. The project thereby aims to address imagined global unity in the face of structural inequality, in order to trace how charity fundraising proposes the idea of a common humanity.