“Volem Acollir”: Humanitarism and Subject Positions in Manifestations of Sympathy in Catalonia

Álvaro Ramírez-March Marisela Montenegro About the authors


The so-called “refugee crisis” of the Mediterranean has caused vast demonstrations of social sympathy. This article uses narrative productions from sympathy initiatives which took part of a citizen campaign in Catalonia as the basis for the analysis of: 1) the implications of problematizing it in terms of “crises”; and 2) the subject positions which emerge from manifestations of sympathetic response. We explore two positions which correspond to two faces of an aid relation: on the one side, “refugees”, associated to the imaginary of “victims”; on the other, “the sympathetic”, who provide a response to “vulnerable others”. We propose that both positions, as well as the “crisis” benchmark, are influenced by a humanitarian logic. We conclude that such benchmark is problematic, since it does not comprehend the situation’s complexity and it generates new logics of discrimination.

sympathy; humanitarianism; subject positions; Catalonia; refugee crisis

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