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Letter on images in 'People in Aid', by Khemraj Upadhyaya, Luis Morago and Roger Yates

Dear Editor,

Congratulations for a fantastic journal which always has plenty in it to read. But that's not what we are writing about today. In your last issue you had a delightful gallery of pictures entitled "People in Aid". It cannot be allowed to pass without comment.

It struck me as profoundly depressing that all the people pictured at the Nairobi meeting were from the North. The only Africans were hidden in the background and unrecognised. Now this may have been representative of that particular gathering but it is not representative of 'People in Aid'. Aren't we in the aid community trying hard to break away from the myth of 'good people from the rich countries helping poor people from poor countries'?

Khemraj Upadhyaya, Luis Morago and Roger Yates (ActionAid Emergencies Unit)

 

Dear Khemraj,

Luis, Roger Thanks for the email and comment on our pictures in the People in Aid section. We fully appreciate your concerns about representation of people in aid. We are certainly aware of the increasing consideration given by many agencies to the importance of getting imagery right and the dangers of 'Eurocentricity' in representation. However we would also like to point out that, up until now, this has been the 'less serious' section of Field Exchange and is not intended to be representative of all people in aid. The People in Aid section has developed from ENN team members travelling with a camera. We also encourage agencies and field personnel to send pictures in to us for this section and have published all pictures we have received (so there is no selection bias).

Eds.

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Khemraj Upadhyaya, Luis Morago and Roger Yates (2002). Letter on images in 'People in Aid', by Khemraj Upadhyaya, Luis Morago and Roger Yates. Field Exchange 15, April 2002. p9. www.ennonline.net/fex/15/letterskhemraj

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