Absences and silences: the representation of the tea picker in colonial and fair trade advertising

RAMAMURTHY, Anandi (2012). Absences and silences: the representation of the tea picker in colonial and fair trade advertising. Visual Culture in Britain, 13 (3), 367-381.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/14714787.2012.717457


Ethical consumption as a form of consumerism suggests that there can be a benign form of globalization where consumers can effect positive change by exercising the ?choice? of opting for fair trade. In marketing this choice, fair trade advertising of tea, cocoa and coffee in particular has adopted the image of the smiling and happy worker from the global South, often in their working environment and testifying by their presence and their smile to the ethical and moral nature of the product. They therefore condone our consumption as moral pleasure. This essay explores the history of this image in colonial advertising and considers how the smile works in contemporary advertising to silence these workers who are unable to ?speak the truth about themselves? (Michel Foucault interviewed by Gerard Raulet).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: race; advertising; fair trade; ethical consumption; gender; affect; smiles; tea; South Asia
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/14714787.2012.717457
Page Range: 367-381
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2015 14:56
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 18:45
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10479

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