Seminar by Tanya Yakimow. Complaints, accusations and failures of gratitude are everyday experiences for volunteers in community driven development (CDD) in Medan, Indonesia. In this article I develop two terms to examine the socio-cultural context that engenders such experiences, and to reveal the consequences of CDD’s impossibilities for local implementers. A moral atmosphere of bagi-bagi, or ‘development as a share’, envelopes and permeates development activities, framing expectations, producing social preoccupations, and influencing moral sensibilities. The moral atmosphere exacerbates the possibility of affective injuries: the sensation of having one’s ethical self questioned or put at risk that manifests as an immediate force or lingering hurt. I argue that the concepts of moral atmosphere and affective injuries reveal overlooked elements of the development arena and offer distinct ways of understanding how developers experience and negotiate its contested moral terrain.
Dr. Tanya Jakimow is a research fellow and senior lecturer Development Studies at the School of Social Sciences Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales.
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