The David Lammy/White Saviour versus Stacey Dooley/Comic Relief debate is an excellent opportunity to look at some of the core elements of ritual communication behind many debates in international development-especially when charities and celebrities are involved!
At the time of writing the debate has already followed the first seven or eight steps and I’m pretty sure that it will go full circle between now and Red Nose Day 2020…
1. Don’t learn from past debates It is worth remembering that this is not some obscure debate a few development bloggers have pointed out. In late 2017, Comic Relief got called out for their video of sending Ed Sheeran to Liberia.
The Sheeran-fronted Comic Relief
video, during which the singer offers to pay hotel costs for street
children in Liberia, verged on “poverty tourism”, according to the jury. (...)“Ed Sheeran has good intentions,” she said. “But the problem is the
video is focused on Ed Sheera…
My piece on white saviour communication & media rituals has gained some nice traction this week, but there were also other interesting updates from around the #globaldev world!
Development news: WWF's wildlife guard problems; following up on the WFP-Palantir affair; an update on suing World Bank/IFC; the commodified digital gig economy; ICT4D & inequalities; racism in the aid industry; how to write about UN & multilateral politics; campaigns against voluntourism; using expat privilege in Malawi; death of a war photographer; Somali's 1970s disco era.
Our digital lives: Political hyperleaders & predictive algorithms.
Academia: The unseen labour of racialized faculty; taking student evaluations less seriously; shedding books & precarity in #highered.
I attended Lisa Richey's inaugural lecture yesterday, wrote a new book review & travelled to Germany this morning for a trip to see family and attend a workshop next week! So without further delay: Your #1 #globaldev link review for this week!
New from aidnography Thirst (book review) Like the pinkification of breast cancer awareness, the commodification of mindfulness or the depoliticization of Oprah’s book club, this mix of American ‘can-do-ism’, a good dose of ignoring learnings from the past and a firm neoliberal outlook that avoids any tough political questions (I don’t think ‘climate change’ or any other cause for dry wells is mentioned in the book) are bound to write a charitable success story!Water is always a source of life-never one of conflict or power.…
It is one of the most, for lack of a better word, schizophrenic
development tales I have read in a long time, the tale of a 21st
century charity that fundraises millions and positively impacts the lives of
millions-and a tale about a lot of things that are going wrong in contemporary
development whenever a white American man is looking for ‘redemption’ and needs
to find it in a village in Africa.
Thirst is definitely a book you should read,
but with a different educational trajectory in mind perhaps than the author
intended; rather than seeing Harrison’s journey purely as…
After the Economist’s piece on the (non-)value of doing a PhD and some comments later (e.g. Prometheus doesn't read the Economist (I like the slightly cynical dichotomy between ‘civilians’ and the ‘academic insiders) or the '100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School' (they are only halfway through so check it out regularly in the future...) I had an interesting conversation with a prospective PhD student a few days ago.
This was not the first time that I had been approached about doing a PhD and I always try to be as frank as possible, even playing the ‘devil’s advocate’ when it comes to the complicated ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’ decision-making process. At the end of our conversation I sat down and tried to summarize a few important and generic points from the point of view of doing a PhD in Development Studies and in the UK.
I understand that every case is different and involves a range of motives, options and rationales, but there a few important questions and topics t…