Celebrities and development

In: Uncategorized

9 Mar 2008

The cover story of today’s New York Times magazine looks at celebrities and the causes they support. It focuses particularly on Natalie Portman as she is evidently an “ambassador” for the Foundation for International Community Assistance (Finca) a microfinance organisation. Others mentioned in the piece include Bono, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

No doubt even many of the critics would argue that at least celebrities do some good by raising “awareness” of important issues. In fact, as Mick Hume has previously argued on spiked, such initiatives are typically based on the assumption that the West has to “save” the people of the third world from themselves. In the case of Natalie Portman she is – inadvertently no doubt – reinforcing low horizons in relation to development when she promotes microfinance.

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