Who pays the price for development? Evidence from selected videos

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Broadly speaking, development apparently intends to improve the livelihoods of the poor and marginalised people. However, this paper assesses whether this is always the case. Could development come at a price? If yes, who pays the price? This paper investigates this further based on cinematic representations of three non-fiction documentary videos: Drowned Out (2002), Dying for a Bargain (2013), and Black Gold (2006). Interpretive analyses of the storylines of these videos suggest that despite the promises of making a positive change for the better, development, often in practice, might affect the poorest through unfair wage and calls for ‘sacrifices’ for a so-called larger common good.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVisual Studies
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2019


  • Development
  • video
  • poor
  • India
  • Ethiopia
  • Bangladesh
  • coffee
  • ready-made garments (RMG)


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