"There are two kinds of pity," the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig wrote, "one, the weak and sentimental kind, which is really no more than the heart's impatience to be rid as quickly as possible of the painful emotion aroused by the sight of another's unhappiness . . . and the other, the only kind that counts, the unsentimental but creative kind, which knows what it is about and is determined to hold out, in patience and forbearance, to the very limit of its strength and even beyond."1 This distinction between the self-serving, volatile pity and the compassionate, altruistic kind opens up a complex set of questions in regard to the production and distribution of images of suffering. Such images do not address an already existing audience, but they create their own public. In order to do so, they often communicate...

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