"A sobering book on how armies burnish their brands. . . a detailed, eye-opening investigation."
Drawing by Lucas Ospina
Colombian President Andrés Pastrana waits for FARC leader Manuel Marulanda,
a no- show, at the opening of peace talks on January 7, 1999. State television and a
FARC videographer record the scene. Photo by Marcelo Salinas/AFP.
Book Award from the Global Communication and Social Change Division of ICA, 2020,
Sharon Stephens Prize, 2019,
Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, 2019,
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.
University of Chicago Press, 2018 / Spanish version, Editorial Universidad del Rosario, 2019, translated by Andy Klatt and María Clemencia Ramírez
Versión en Español disponible en la Editorial Universidad del Rosario. Comprar Aquí.