Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Film on Aceh's Dual Disasters

An invitation from YCAR (York Centre for Asian Research):

Humanitarian Disasters

The Canadian Film Premiere of 'Hidden in the Limelight of the Tsunami: Aceh's Silent Disaster'
A film by Arno Waizenegger (Cologne) and Jennifer Hyndman (York)
Tuesday, 2 March 2010 | 6 to 7pm | 102 Accolade East Bldg. | York University, Keele Campus

When it comes to disasters, international aid agencies and the international news media find themselves entangled in a complex relationship of mutual dependency. Due to what is sometimes called the 'CNN effect' and the rapid transmission of images and new, the media hugely affects the shape of the global aid landscape.

The film at hand explores how aid agencies adapt to particular media environments in disaster settings and how this impacts their priorities and performance in delivering humanitarian assistance where it is needed.

These issues are probed using the example of Aceh, the Indonesia province that was the highly publicized scene of the extraordinary well-funded 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. In contrast, the underfunded 'silent' disaster in Aceh resulting from protracted violent conflict between the Indonesia government and the Free Aceh Movement, was largely invisible.

Highlighting recent trends in the modern operandi of international news media and the aid industry, this case study indicates that transparency, independence and accountability are key principles that can avert the disparities between humanitarian disasters. silent emergencies may not be tsunamis but human life is nonetheless at risk.

For more information, contact Jennifer Hyndman at

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