It's worth reading the whole post on Racialicious, but here are some highlights:
That was my bolding - this is is so essential! So many organizations share intense stories without clear action steps the readers can then take. This is one of the things I am going to be tracking in my postdoc, which focuses specifically on the stories that accompaniers share and what works well for building solidarity. How can accompaniers, and others doing human rights and humanitarian work in conflict zones, avoid falling in to traps like these?Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers. The question of what to do with the feelings that have been aroused, the knowledge that has been communicated. If one feels that there is nothing ‘we’ can do — but who is that ‘we’? — and nothing ‘they’ can do either — and who are ‘they’ — then one starts to get bored, cynical, apathetic."
The article goes on to raise another issue I'll be looking at in my postdoc:
Here he is beaming down at obedient-looking Cambodian girls, or smiling broadly beside a dour, unclothed black man with a spear, whilst there he is with Ashton and Demi, Brad and Angelina, George Clooney. He professes humility, but his approach to journalistic advocacy makes himself a celebrity. He is the news story: Kristof is visiting, Kristof is doing something.