Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
Focusing on the pivotal period of 1919–23 and the large-scale humanitarian responses in Central and Eastern Europe, this paper discusses the development of advocacy in the movies made by organizations like the ICRC, Save the Children Fund or American Relief Administration. While aid agencies observed and competed with each other for visibility, humanitarian cinema shaped visual advocacy, grounded in the idea that ‘seeing is believing’. Exploring the fragmented audiovisual archives, as well as magazines and promotional material, this paper explores the testimonial function of humanitarian films in the 1920s. It first shows that the immediacy of the cinema technology increased the immersive and affective experience of the viewers by using forensic evidence and images of the body in pain. It then analyses how these films compelled audiences to witness suffering and act through persuasion, suggestion, and emotions. Finally, it inquires into the use of eyewitness images and first-hand accounts during the screenings, to show how these movies operated within larger regimes of visibility, while making claims on behalf of distant beneficiaries.
The following conversation explores the emergence of advocacy within the MSF movement. Maria Guevara was Senior Operational Positioning and Advocacy Advisor in the Operational Centre Geneva (OCG) at MSF Switzerland. Marc DuBois was the Head of the Humanitarian Affairs Department in the Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA) at MSF Holland and the former Director of MSF UK. Together, we discuss the principle of ‘bearing witness’ and the dilemmas it has raised among MSF’s different sections, as well as its link to eyewitness.
This chapter provides a review of how the book’s statistical and legal analyses of international organizations’ constitutions revealed many new – and seemingly contradictory – interpretations of international organizations law. It reminds the reader of the map that the book provided of international organizations’ values, as well as some of the ways for understanding that map.
This chapter illustrates the extent to which various international organizations’ constitutions refer to a range of principles identified in the literature. It describes the universe of these constitutions quantitatively, and it provides a first analysis of groupings of these principles. The chapter shows how some constitutions refer to different principles more than others. It also shows how these groupings were found, as well as which organizations and principles belong to these groups. This chapter also shows the network linkages between these principles, as constitutions refer to some principles more than others. If mentions of executive staff appear dominant in traditional quantitative analysis, these mentions become all the more important in the network analysis provided. Indeed, no analysis of international organizations law can omit the principles driving executive staff and remain relevant.
This chapter continues to illustrate the quantitative links from the first chapters by concentrating on various substantive principles. These substantive principles act as the main drivers of international organizations law, in contrast to procedural principles. The chapter shows, using the same kind of analysis as in the previous chapter, how equality, peace, representativeness and autonomy mean something together and separately, depending on the constitutions being discussed. Unequal relations between states can never form the basis of peace between states, as the UN Charter and other constitutions attest. State sovereignty may represent the ultimate type of autonomy, but representation in an international organization may actually bolster both the autonomy of the state and the international organization concerned. Such apparent contradictions bedevil all aspects of constitutional interpretation. Valuing these principles and knowing their value in promoting a principle like peace requires a holistic understanding of these constitutions in context.
This chapter illustrates the quantitative links from the first chapters by using the standard tools of legal analysis. In particular, it shows how references to other principles shade any legal or practical definition of authority in these international organizations. For example, the African Export Import Bank’s constitution describes how the Bank’s autonomy from its member states helps to ensure the Bank staff’s authority. The constitutions of the Caribbean Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank also show how some constitutions use recommendations to appoint staff, while in other cases staff make recommendations to member states. Depending on the international organization, the principle of making recommendations serves different ends. In some cases, autonomy helps provide the authority to make these recommendations. In cases like the United Nations, the recommendations themselves carry authority, and the authority vested in the United Nations gives authority to these recommendations. However, the law (and particularly the subsidiary and regulatory law) behind these nuanced concepts of these legal principles remains almost completely undefined.
This chapter starts by reminding the reader of how international organizations impact on our daily lives. Despite the importance of these organizations, the legal principles that drive them are relatively unstudied and unknown. The chapter explains how this book remedies that situation with an empirical exploration of the constitutions that form international organizations, as well as an explanation of how previous efforts of other researchers have fallen woefully short. It identifies the main principles that this empirical exploration focuses on and asks searching questions to better understand the contours of those principles. The chapter also anticipates and counters criticism that counting words in constitutions does not get us closer to understanding the principles of international organizations. On the contrary, the patterns that this book discovers paint a new and compelling picture of the principles at the heart of international organizations.
This chapter ties together some of the threads woven in the previous chapters. It discusses the history of thought in the field of international organizations law, as it applies to a “common law” of international organizations’ constitutions. It also discusses the case against such a common law. Legal researchers have seen the folly of trying to develop a unified law of international organizations, even if they did not have access to a database like the one at the heart of this book. This chapter reviews some of this thinking and shows how the analysis of these constitutions bolsters their case. It also describes the developing jurisprudence, particularly in international tribunals, against the idea of a single, solitary, unifying law of international organizations. As reflected in the diversity observed in the network analyses and legal analyses of constitutions provided in the preceding chapters of this book, this chapter sees laws of international organizations, not a singular law of international organizations. Any attempt in the future to describe the law of international organizations must accept this variegated plurality, this differentiated heterogeneity, in the principles underpinning our international organizations’ constitutions.
This book quantifies international organizations’ affiliation with particular values in their constitutions, like cooperation, peace and equality. The statistical and legal analyses tease out from the data the actual values contained in international organizations’ constitutions and their relationship with one another. Values like cooperation, representation and communication often appear together in international organizations’ constitutions. However, divide these organizations into groups – like regional versus universal organizations – and a kaleidoscope of different patterns in these values emerges. In the kaleidoscope, the reader clearly can see distinct groupings of organizations and values. With data pointing the way, many new – and seemingly contradictory – interpretations of international organizations law emerge. Not only does this book provide a map of international organizations’ values, it provides a healthy start towards fully understanding that map, thereby helping global governance take a quantum leap forward.
The chapter documents the capacious and immensely promising newish discipline of cine-legality, represented in this collection. The archive – what Gabrielle Simm calls ‘the panorama of world cinema’ – is immense, and in this chapter, the author tries to identify some fruitful directions it might take.