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INTRODUCTION

Disaster impacts are never short-term. The crisis does not come to an end when the immediate physical effects of a hazard cease or when the last survivors have been rescued, buildings have been made safe, relief supplies have been set in place, and the news cameras have moved elsewhere. Impacts on lives, livelihoods and wellbeing extend through time. In some cases, and for some population groups, restoring economic resources, utilities and welfare services can take many years. Individual trauma and social disruption of course can last much longer. Recovery from disasters is an inherently prolonged and uneven process.

DISASTERS ARE NOT NATURAL

Shifting the blame of a disaster on to ‘nature’ or ‘god’ exonerates those who could have helped avoid them.

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PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE AGENTS

Seeing disaster-affected people as ‘victims’ or ‘beneficiaries’ ignores their agency, abilities and individuality in the recovery processes

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RECOVERY BEYOND THE VISIBLE

Disaster recovery tends to focus on building or repairing physical infrastructure; environmental damages and psychosocial impacts are less ‘seen’ and are often poorly addressed

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REMEMBERING (OR FORGETTING)

Approaches to remembering/ memorialising disasters reflect different priorities and pathways to recovery

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ROLE OF THE MEDIA

Print, broadcast and online media organisations play a key role in circulating ideas about recovery, as well as shaping and re-shaping them

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DIVERGENT PRIORITIES

Dominant ideas about what is needed to recover may not always match the priorities of those most affected

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NEGLECTED NEEDS

One-size-fit all recovery interventions can render some social groups and their needs almost invisible in post-disaster interventions

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ALTERNATE PLATFORMS FOR SELF-REPRESENTATION

Self presentation, through art, legal recourse, collective action, enable neglected groups make their voices heard and their actions count

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