Bridget Conley, Advocacy in Conflict
"A curiosity of the last decade of western advocacy on conflicts is that a wholly different relationship has arisen between the “activist” and the affected community. Led by groups such as the Enough Project, “activism” has been redesigned as an entirely domestic endeavor: changing policies in western capitals by mobilizing constituencies around celebrities and publicity. Success is measured by the extent to which advocates can convince a domestic population that simple actions they can take will produce fundamental change in distant conflict-ridden places. Through highly-produced multimedia products, celebrity spokespersons, and simplified narratives, a new set of practices is developing. Invariably, the answers these campaigns propose are framed as apolitical: clothed in ethical absolutes, impervious to critique, and challenging to the activist’s own government only to the extent that it is called upon to do more. The message is one of empowerment—but the empowerment of a domestic constituency, consisting of people not affected by conflict."