Viewing disaster through the lens of the west

Our instinct is to see the victims of disasters in a certain way, according to where they are from

28th August, 2016
A member of the emergency services checks a building destroyed by the earthquake on in San Lorenzo a Flaviano, Italy. Pic: Getty

Our gut response to natural disasters like last Wednesday’s earthquake in Italy may be the same wherever in the world they happen: shock at the horror of it and awe at the force of nature.

But the media quickly differentiates, in subtle ways, between disasters that strike Western countries and those that strike further away, in what used be called the ‘Third World’.

The first footage from Italy showed locals pulling...

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