“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Starved for Attention.

with 3 comments

I am exceedingly leery about charities and how much money has been wasted in keeping Westerners in relative comfort or absorbed by “administration”.

Still, I have nothing but admiration for the Doctors and staff of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as they deliberately put themselves in harm’s way to help people in some of the most remote and dangerous regions of the world.

Here’s a discussion of one of MSF’s latest campaigns, Starved for Attention:

“Malnutrition is medical priority for MSF. We treat hundreds of thousands of children every year. Over the past few decades, the image of emaciated, fly-ridden children on the brink of death from famines and other catastrophe has come to define the visual representation of childhood malnutrition. And in this media saturated world, flush with information documenting the daily toll of human suffering, it is understandable that a visual immunity has developed as a line of defense against this clichéd imagery provoking any kind of an emotional response to tackle the crisis of childhood malnutrition head on. It was in this context that we challenged VII to capture a new visual identity for malnutrition. We had the strong experience of working together in Congo, and this offered another compelling opportunity for collaboration between VII and MSF.”

Written by modernityblog

01/09/2010 at 23:29

3 Responses

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  1. Much appreciated, Norm. If you’re interested in ethics and aesthetics this might be of interest: the web editor here Pete will be presenting on MSF’s photo campaigns at “Aesthetics as a means to heal” at the London Design Fest. You should come round if you’re in town: 6.30 to 9.30 pm on Friday, 24th September 2010, the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.


    02/09/2010 at 14:15

  2. Sadly, I am not Norm 🙂

    But if there are other events please do tell us more of MSF’s work.



    02/09/2010 at 16:07

  3. I very much agree that MSF is a great charity, and I personally donate to them.

    I would add a touch of caution, though, about getting too fussy about administration costs at charities: actually, any good organisation *must* have a good bureaucracy behind it. Not a big one, but an effective one.

    This piece outlines some really good points on the issue: Well worth reading.


    05/09/2010 at 14:09

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