Each chapter illustrates how the impoverished rhetoric of celebrities often privileges the voices of those in the Global North over the efforts of local NGOs who have been working for years at addressing the same humanitarian crises. Whether we are talking about the building of schools for young women in Afghanistan or the satellite surveillance of potential genocidal acts carried out in the Sudan, various forms of celebrity advocacy resonate with scholars and members of the public who want to be seen «doing something.»
The author argues that more often than not, celebrity advocacy enhances a celebrity's reputation – but hinders the efforts of those who ask us to pay attention to the historical, structural, and material causes of these humanitarian crises.
Chapter 7. Kim Kardashian, “Fame for the Forgotten,” and Transmediated Remembrances of the Armenian Genocide
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KIM KARDASHIAN, “FAME FOR THE FORGOTTEN,” AND TRANSMEDIATED REMEMBRANCES OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
In many ways it could be argued that celebrities occasionally have been key players in attempts to raise consciousness about the Armenian genocide. For example, in 1919, Oscar Apfel directed an American film entitled Ravished Armenia for First National Pictures. The movie was based on the autobiographical book by Arshaluys (Aurora) Mardiganian, and Mardiganian played herself in the film. When it was screened in London, the film was called “Auction of Souls,” but for New York performances the silent film was retitled Ravished Armenia.
Grace Carley Harriman and Mrs. George Vanderbilt were some of the society leaders who were there to see Mardiganian’s first performance in New York, and the film and the conversations about the movie were used to help collect money for the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief.1
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