Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa

The Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa (CIHA) Blog seeks to transform the phenomenon of aid to Africa into egalitarian and respectful relationships that challenge unequal power relations, paternalism and victimization. Our research and commentaries highlight critical and religious voices to explore connections among issues of faith, governance, gender, and race in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Through analysis and dialogue, we strive for equality, justice and, ultimately, respect for others’ desires, beliefs and practices.


Melissa M. Brough, “‘Fair Vanity’: The Visual Culture of Humanitarianism in the Age of Commodity Activism” in Roopali Mukherjee and Sarah Banet-Weiser (New York University Press, 2012), pp. 174-194.

In her contribution to this exciting and necessary collection, Brough explores the production and use of media in the humanitarian sector through a study of Invisible Children. Her study sketches out the field of Western Humanitarianism and its construction of donors and receivers, with consideration of both Christian and neoliberal underpinnings of the endeavour.