Globally Responsible? The Ethics of Engaging with People at a Distance

17/02/20166:00 pm-7:30 pm
Habib University

How might we engage with places that are at a distance from us? By distance I not only mean places that might be located far away or are inaccessible, but I am also thinking of places that through their material conditions repel us in some way, or from which we are repelled. Whilst in the past, such places would remain out-of-sight and out of our consciousness, increasingly they reveal themselves to us. Often this occurs through the use of digital technologies, from the impulse to map and create a digital globe of the whole world to the various social media platforms that transmit images and videos. This situation is very different from the past when such places could only be seen in a few, select images that were often heavily mediated in reports by journalists and through the narrative of NGOs and state actors. More so than ever before, we are compelled to act, to somehow feel responsible for and bear witness to what occurs at a distance from us. This talk will explore some of the ethical and political implications of such actions at a distance.