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    The melodrama of being a child: NGO representations of poverty

    Wells, Karen (2013) The melodrama of being a child: NGO representations of poverty. Visual Communication 12 (3), pp. 277-293. ISSN 1470-3572.

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    This article shows how NGO films deploy melodramatic modes in constructing the narrative arcs of their campaign films and it explores the potential of this mode for generating solidarity between the spectator and the suffering subject. The author analyses how, through the use of music, colour and gesture, a visceral emotional response is evoked that produces an identification of the spectator with the experiences of the suffering subject. She argues that the criticism of melodrama as a mode or genre that substitutes politics with compassion is misplaced; compassion for distant others may be at least as critical to the formation of solidarity as a politically informed understanding of the structural causes of social injury.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): distant others, social injury, social suffering, solidarity, spectator
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS), Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for (BISR)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2013 09:31
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:06


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