Book Launch: Guerrilla Marketing: Counterinsurgency and Capitalism in Colombia

Book Launch
Nov 30, 2018
04:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Webster's Bookstore Cafe

Alexander Fattal, Dept. Film-Video and Media Studies, Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, Penn State

Brand warfare is real. Guerrilla Marketing details the Colombian government’s efforts to transform Marxist guerrilla fighters in the FARC into consumer citizens. Alexander L. Fattal shows how the market has become one of the principal grounds on which counterinsurgency warfare is waged and postconflict futures are imagined in Colombia. This layered case study illuminates a larger phenomenon: the convergence of marketing and militarism in the twenty-first century. Taking a global view of information warfare, Guerrilla Marketing combines archival research and extensive fieldwork not just with the Colombian Ministry of Defense and former rebel communities, but also with political exiles in Sweden and peace negotiators in Havana. Throughout, Fattal deftly intertwines insights into the modern surveillance state, peace and conflict studies, and humanitarian interventions, on one hand, with critical engagements with marketing, consumer culture, and late capitalism on the other. The result is a powerful analysis of the intersection of conflict and consumerism in a world where governance is increasingly structured by brand ideology and wars sold as humanitarian interventions.

Full of rich, unforgettable ethnographic stories, Guerrilla Marketing is a stunning and troubling analysis of the mediation of global conflict.

Reading: Alex Fattal, Assistant Prof. Dept. Film-Video and Media Studies, Penn State University
Commentary: Alex Dent, Associate Prof. Dept. of Anthropology, George Washington University
Music: Adianez Martínez

Free wine and snacks will be provided.

“Guerrilla Marketing is a fascinating examination of how commercial-style branding has been deployed by both
rebels and the state in Colombia's civil war. Fattal deserves high praise for his extraordinary research, carried out over
many years in the edgy and borderless terrain of the war's periphery. His insights are lucid and the stories he tells are
haunting. This book is a must-read for scholars of modern conflict, journalists, and diplomats.”
— Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker staff writer

Co-sponsored by the Center for Global Studies.

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