Whose Pain Goes Viral? Economies of Empathy After Paris 2015

Whose Pain Goes Viral? Economies of Empathy After Paris 2015


Podcast (1:29:36)

Wednesday February 24, 2016 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Rogers Communication Centre, Room 103
Ryerson University
80 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario

Len Findlay: Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Humanities Research Unit at the University of Saskatchewan.  Past President of Academy One (Arts and Humanities) of the Royal Society of Canada.

“My inspiration is an image of a little boy lying face-down, drowned, on a Turkish beach. In this illustrated talk I will examine the historical interplay of fame and infamy, information and authority, to help frame the current notion of “going viral” and how suffering overpowers  “cute.”  This will be pursued in and beyond mainstream coverage of the deaths of innocent people coming from or connectable to events in the Middle East.  The goal is to assess economic, political, and affective  determinants of the axiom that “if it bleeds, it leads.” I will then reflect on how these determinants might be both intensified and resisted in social and traditional media in order that justice go viral, starting in Canada.”  

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