Seeing Haiti

There’s so much to think about, take in, and give right now in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake that perhaps a lone blog entry like this isn’t at all suitable. But useless as I am in the face of the disaster and images of the resultant suffering taking place right now so far away from my comfortable life in London, I’ve been thinking a lot about the cruise liners that have chosen this week to dock as scheduled at Labadee. Here’s a link to a great comment on this by Gwyn Topham, published in yesterday’s Guardian.

There’s a point of some immediacy about the politics of disaster tourism in this context that’s perhaps worth debating. More broadly however, there’s an important set of issues to unpack around the mediated visuality of disasters, distance, and the mechanics of care in late capitalism. How do ‘we’, how should ‘we’, see Haiti right now? Anyone have any opinions? Or is this blog post itself a form of voyeurism?

In any event, I look forward to the forthcoming Periscope on Haiti that will be up on this site in a few days …

Tariq Jazeel