Forming a humanitarian brand: Childhood and affect in Central Australia

Forming a humanitarian brand: Childhood and affect in Central Australia Book Section

Disadvantaged Childhoods and Humanitarian Intervention: Processes of Affective Commodification and Objectification

  • Author(s): Anderson, Drew
  • Secondary Author(s): Cheney, Kristen, Sinervo, Aviva
  • Published: 2019
  • Publisher: Springer International Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-01623-4

Abstract: This chapter draws upon ethnographic research with an international NGO working with Indigenous communities in the central desert of Australia. International NGOs have often relied upon the commodification of children in the Global South as the face of their brands, in order to raise funds. I argue that humanitarian imagery is produced according to particular norms that aim at cultivating the “immaterial labor” (Hardt and Negri 2004) of a consumer, inviting them to self-identify with the position of a donor. However, the Indigenous people in my study, when drawn into humanitarian brand discourse, problematize the recognizable frames of the brand by resisting the adoption of standardized humanitarian postures, subsequently breaking with the North–South divide upon which the brand usually relies, and identifying with the position of donor and not recipient. I thereby consider the ways in which the humanitarian brand does not simply link the positions of donor and recipient, but also constitutes and enacts those positions in a productive network.

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Suggested Citation
Anderson, Drew, 2019, Forming a humanitarian brand: Childhood and affect in Central Australia, Book Section, viewed 20 July 2019, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14675.

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