Events at FIFE
HUMA FIFE Ethical Humanitarianisms Series
This project addresses the ethical quandaries that underpin humanitarian and philanthropy work in Africa, asking how to build more ethical humanitarian interventions in a world of conflicting ethics. It interrogates the irony and contradiction of humanitarianism worried about its own ethics.
The project takes its cue from contemporary ethical dilemmas confronting humanitarian work worldwide, with a particular focus on the African continent, where the enterprise of solidarity and generosity has seen a boom over the past years. It critically examines shifts in the fundamental principles that underpin humanitarian work – justice, beneficence, non-maleficence, and autonomy. What new moral, ethical and legal challenges confront the business of saving lives and preserving human dignity? What new ideas and notions of personhood and dignity underpin conceptions of universal values? What compromises are being made, and what is being compromised? We approach humanitarianism more broadly as a notion that incorporates diverse acts of kindness towards humans. These acts of kindness are local and transnational, external and internal, in-kind, cash, technical support, advice, amongst others that activate care and caring relationships.
The project thus interrogates the ontological and epistemological assumptions that underpin different imaginaries of humanitarianism and ask what it will mean and take to decolonise these. That is, how to account for acts of kindness that usually are not included in “formal” humanitarian projects or conceptions of humanitarianism. What is philanthropy? What is humanitarian work, who gets to define what constitutes humanitarian work, and what are the ethical backgrounds of these classifications?
The Ethical Humanitarianisms project is a collaboration with the Institute for Humanities in Africa, South Africa.
Format: The webinars happens on the third Tuesday of each month. Two to three panellists present key arguments on the topic and/or question posed for the session (10 minutes each), followed by questions from the moderator. After that, there are 20-30 minutes of Q&A with the participants. Each session is recorded and will be disseminated on HUMA’s social media channels.