Thinking through solidarity organizing, with an eye to how we can better live the change, as well as how we often slip in to colonial patterns when working together across distance and difference.
Mar 26, 2011
I have posted before about empathy fatigue, and heard the term 'compassion fatigue'used regarding caregivers - but is there such a thing as 'solidarity fatigue'? This article using the term got widely picked up by other sites, particularly in the Catholic network. The article does not explain the term but says:
""For many, Colombia equals coffee and drugs", said Presbyterian theologian Milton Mejía. Those stereotypes are compounded by a decades-long internal armed conflict that "seems to be worsening constantly", Mejía added, the result being "a widespread loss of interest and fatigue".
According to Mejía, who coordinates the Observatory of Church and Society at the Reformed University of Barranquilla, this solidarity fatigue affects even international organizations towards which Colombians turn for support. As a consequence, Colombians face difficulties when trying to explain the extent and urgency of the humanitarian crisis in their country."
Is there a difference between solidarity fatigue and empathy fatigue? I don't know, to me solidarity fatigue makes me think more of activist burnout than what Milton is describing above. As in being tired of making a fist, of holding hands up high.
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