Office, field, and guest house: notes on romanticism, boredom, and habits in the humanitarian realm
Antonio De Lauri
(Chr. Michelsen Institute)
Paper short abstract:
This paper critically focuses on “the office”, “the field” and “the guest house” as key locations/dimensions of humanitarian work.
Paper long abstract:
This paper critically focuses on "the office", "the field" and "the guest house" as key locations/dimensions of humanitarian work. Starting from the experience of an aid worker in Kabul, the paper addresses some relevant concerns of humanitarianism in practice and reflects on certain unexplored implications of delivering aid. The question of boredom is analysed in relation to the tendency or romanticizing humanitarian work as well as to specific daily habits characterizing "the life of the expat". In this context, the very concept of crisis emerges as a constitutive element of humanitarian's perception of self.
Boredom, intimacy and governance in 'normalized' times of crisis