March 1, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Sociology & Anthropology Colloquium | Corruption, Right On! Hidden Cameras, Cynical Satire, and Banal Intimacies of Anti-corruption in Albania, March 17

Dr. Smoki Musaraj smiling with arms crossed and brick building behind her

Dr. Smoki Musaraj

The Sociology & Anthropology Colloquium Series presents Dr. Smoki Musaraj on “Corruption, Right On! Hidden Cameras, Cynical Satire, and Banal Intimacies of Anti-corruption in Albania” on Friday, March 17, at 4 p.m. in Bentley Annex 102.

Musaraj is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Sociology & Anthropology Department at Ohio University. Her areas of research include anthropology of money and value, bubbles and crashes, corruption and the rule of law, Southeast Europe, and Albania. She teaches courses in Economic Anthropology and Cultures of the Mediterranean.

Abstract: Since 2002, the satirical investigative television show, Fiks Fare! [Right On!/Exactly], airs immediately after prime-time news at a leading national broadcasting network in Albania. Through sting operations and cynical satire, the show tells the raw story of everyday experiences of corruption in Albanian society—from daily interactions with low-level public administration officers to the backroom deals of high-level officials. Over the years, Fiks Fare! has endured as an effective whistleblower in a country notorious for a lack of prosecutions and convictions of corruption charges. In this presentation, I explore the effects of this unlikely anticorruption agent by drawing attention to its narratives of corruption, its technologies of investigation, and its genres of representation. I argue that, through its use of sting operations and mass-mediation, the show constructs specific publics and subjects—victims, intermediaries, witnesses—that engage in everyday corruption. Second, through its use of a genre of cynical satire and vulgar aesthetics, the show constructs a political commentary and critique that makes visible the intimacies of corruption all the while normalizing complicity with figures of power.

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