The Double Edge of Celebrity Interest in Darfur
The Nigerian minority rights activist and insurgent leader Ken Saro-Wiwa said, “It’s one thing being an issue, another achieving our aims.” Two years afterwards he was hanged””he fatally misjudged the power of western publicity in the face of a thuggish government. His Ogoni people have won only a marginally better deal. Darfurians may come to a similar conclusion. They couldn’t have asked for more celebrity endorsement. But they haven’t got what they need. The facts of Darfur lead to a depressing conclusion: celebrity moral hyperventilation hasn’t helped and probably has hindered. But who needs empirics when there is a good story to tell?