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Batman Saves Congo

Batman Saves Congo: Celebrity, Disruption and Neoliberal Development

Book by Lisa Ann Richey and Alexandra Cosima Budabin coming soon from the University of Minnesota Press

Can a celebrity be a ‘disrupter,’ promoting strategic partnerships to bring new actors, ideas, and funding to revitalize the field of development or are celebrities just charismatic ambassadors for big business? We argue in this book that celebrities do both and that understanding why and how they do it provides insight into the realities of neoliberal development. As elite political actors, celebrities shape development practices by convening strategic partnerships that draw new financial and political capital while assembling the support of old development actors.  The resulting celebrity-business-development nexus is both an innovative way to raise awareness and funding for otherwise neglected causes and a troubling trend in an environment of unaccountable elite leadership in North-South relations. 

You can read articles from our project here

 

Stay tuned for more to come . . . Until then, please enjoy my photos from everyday life during my fieldwork in Kinshasa.