Dienstag, 12. Mai 2015, 18:00 - 20:00 iCal

Kapuscinski Development Lecture with Ilan Kapoor

"The Ideology of Celebrity Humanitarianism"

C3 - Centre for International Development
Sensengasse 3, 1090 Vienna


"The Ideology of Celebrity Humanitarianism"

Kapuscinski Development Lecture with Ilan Kapoor, Professor of Critical Development Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada

12 May, 2015, 18:00-20:00

Should celebrities promote charities?

Ilan Kapoor: “I argue that celebrity humanitarianism legitimates late liberal capitalism and global inequality. Drawing on Slavoj Žižek, I show that celebrity charity work is deeply tainted and ideological.”

Celebrity charity work is deeply tainted and ideological. Its altruistic pretensions are belied by several accompaniments: its tendency to promote both the celebrity’s brand and the image of the ‘caring’ (Western) nation; its entrenchment in a marketing and promotion machine that helps advance corporate capitalism and rationalizes the very global inequality it seeks to redress; its support to a ‘post-democratic’ liberal political system that is outwardly democratic and populist, yet, for all intents and purposes, conducted by unaccountable elites; and its use and abuse of the 'Third World', making Africa, in particular, a background for First World hero-worship and a dumping ground for humanitarian ideals and fantasies. But what about our own complicity in this ideological work? As audience members and fans, or indeed even as detractors or critics, we too easily carry on our lives, consoled that someone is doing the charity work for us, just as long as we don’t have to.

Registration: office@oefse.at or Phone: +43/1/317 40 10-100

organzied by the Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Foundation for Development Research (ÖFSE), the European Commission and UNDP


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Website: kapuscinskilectures.eu

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Department of Development Studies, Centre for International Development (ÖFSE)

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Sarah Marquardt
Institut für Internationale Entwicklung
+43 01 4277 23901