Congrats to Jordan Buzzett (Class of ’22, current Wake Forest Fellow) and Gabby Valencia (Class of ’23, WFU Anthro major) on their first major scholarly publication!
The story of Arthur, an Ecuadorian dog who was “saved” and “rescued” to Sweden in 2014, has captured the hearts of millions through bestselling books and a major motion picture due for release this year. And yet this story is an invention. Drawing from twenty years of ethnographic fieldwork in the region from which this supposedly-stray dog was stolen, as well as analysis of social media, news articles and the book manuscript, we interrogate how the circulation of this genre of feel-good story relies on false representations of the “primitive other” to bestow power and profit upon the storyteller. In particular, we examine how this fable, or “single story,” gained international popularity by building upon and reinforcing racist and colonialist tropes about modernity and backwardness that are salient in both Ecuadorian and global contexts, albeit in different ways.
Access the full article – Saving Stray Dogs: The Global Politics of Aid and Spectacle in the Ecuadorian Jungle