Alexander Fattal - "Guerrilla Marketing" - William Mazzarella & Mareike Winchell - CLAS

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Alexander Fattal

"'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, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life

Alexander Fattal discusses Guerrilla Marketing: Counterinsurgency and Capitalism in Colombia. He will be joined in conversation by William Mazzarella and Mareike Winchell. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

Presented in partnership with CLAS: The University of Chicago Center for Latin American Studies

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: 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.

About the author: Alexander Fattal is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film-Video and Media Studies at Pennsylvania State University and a documentary artist. More info at:

About the interlocutors: 

William Mazzarella is the Neukom Family Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.

Mareike Winchell is an anthropologist working at the intersection of critical indigenous studies, the anthropology of history, and emergent bureaucratic cultures, particularly with respect to environmental governance. Her current book project, After Servitude: Cartographies of Indigenous Justice in Bolivia, tracks the multiple, incommensurate approaches to Bolivia’s bonded past that emerge through land titling proceedings, in disputes among unionists, political leaders, and mining elites, and in exchange relations among the living kin of former hacienda masters and domestic servants. By attending to the generative interplay of these contrasting approaches to a violent labor past, the book foregrounds the material and relational limits to decolonizing state cartographies and their production of new kinds of anti-state collectivity. Winchell’s writing and digital scholarship has appeared in Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Cultural Anthropology, and The Journal of Peasant Studies.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637