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Share a Link, Buy a Bracelet

Felix Salmon has an excellent piece breaking down the whole Mike Daisey/This American Life thing and what it really means. Included is this quote from Rebecca Hamilton, author of Fighting for Darfur:

To build a mass movement quickly, it helps to have an over-simplified, emotive narrative with a single demand. It also helps to tells people that by doing easy tasks – sharing a link on Facebook, buying a bracelet — they can save lives. Central to the formula is that the agency of local actors gets downplayed to hype up the importance of action by outsiders. But all those ingredients inevitably lead to eventual failure when the simple solutions can’t fix the complex reality. The movement walks away, disillusioned. And in the meantime untold resources have been expended on solutions that have been out of step with what local activists need.

March 18, 2012 // This post is about: , ,

Comments

  • Michal Migurski says:

    Ethan Zuckerman is very worth reading on this: “If we need simple narratives so people can spread them are we forced to engage only with the simplest of problems?” http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2012/03/08/unpacking-kony-2012/

  • Michal Migurski says:

    Also, the Internet’s best living writer, Aaron Bady http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/the-jimmy-mcnulty-gambit/

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