Sophie Tremblay, International Health Program, McGill University - April 2011

Health is a top global priority, consuming the attention of many policy makers, experts, scientists and philanthropists worldwide. However, this was not always the case. The value of health is only a recent phenomenon and the idea that health is a universal right is an even more recent one. The global conception of health is entrenched with the idea that life has value and that every life has equal value, but this idea was not a given, it took the successes and failures of many people and projects to get to these conceptions of life and health, which are still in the process of developing. At its core, anthropology is the study of humanity, and thus Global Health, which deals with the biological wellbeing of humanity, becomes an important anthropological problem. If the task of global health is to achieve humanity, the task of anthropology is to analyze the ways in which global health (at different times and places) perceives humanity. This video takes an anthropological approach to trace the history of Global Health and argues that the important shift from the International to the Global was due to a series of developments in the 1970s that redefined what being a human meant.

This video is a montage of different images found in digital web archives, which I found useful in outlining the emergence of Global Health.

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