Nov 17, 2015

Geographies of empathy

Geographies of empathy is the great title that Judy Han gave this map when she posted it on facebook. I have also seen it in Spanish and on various other social media networks.

There have been many cogent critiques published in the last few days about the global unevenness of solidarity, so I won't write another. Instead let me point out that for at least two days the entire front page of amazon.com (the US version) was replaced with simply a French flag and the word solidarité.

Since when does the corporate world promote solidarity? And what exactly does it mean coming from a corporation that is famous for having horrible worker rights? I'm afraid that the term is being co-opted.

Likewise I was struck by Obama's recent pledge to “stand in solidarity” with French authorities as they hunt down the perpetrators. Does this mean that the now increased mass bombings of civilians in Syria by the French and US forces are now solidarity bomb drops? That is not what solidarity means to me.

I do stand in loving solidarity with the French, and Lebanese, and Afghani, and Nigerian, and Iraqui, and Colombian, and so many other people who are creatively building alternative securities and new ways of keeping each other safe through solidarity.  They have guns but we have flowers, as these two fabulous analysts put it in this short video.



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