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Doubting the Malagasy Remedy. Rumours and Suspicion During COVID-19 in Madagascar

In: Slovenský národopis / Slovak Ethnology, vol. 70, no. 3
Patrick Desplat Číslo ORCID
Rok, strany: 2022, 411 - 429
Jazyk: eng
Kľúčové slová:
conspiracy theory, doubt, infodemic, pandemic, medicine, poison, bioprospecting, neoliberalism
Typ článku: Article
Typ dokumentu: PDF
O článku:
After the world came into the grip of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Madagascar suddenly moved into the spotlight of global media attention. Backed up by low incident rates and no deaths, the president of Madagascar announced in April that local scientists had found a cure for COVID-19. During a TV broadcast, he sipped from a bottle dubbed Covid-Organics (CVO) and heralded the herbal concoction as a remedy for the global crisis. The World Health Organization (WHO), however, reacted with scepticism and cautioned against the drink because no evidence of its effectiveness had been proven. The announcement of CVO and the response of the WHO sparked new hearsay in Madagascar and on social media alike. Some focused on the marginalisation and exploitation of Africa by global health organisations. Others assumed hidden intentions of the Malagasy government. Many buzzes questioned the ingredients of the herbal drink or that CVO was just another political stage act with a hidden agenda. This article takes rumours about conspiracies and other hidden schemes about CVO as a starting point to scrutinize how Malagasy debunk a state-inflicted infodemic. I argue that these narratives are not about an epistemic void that needs to be filled but, instead, about knowing too much about an ongoing drama to take a single, even hopeful, political act at face value. More specifically, I engage with suspicion as the driving force to decipher political acts as manipulative populism. Rumours and conspiracy theories are part of everyday discourses in Madagascar, and the challenges of navigating fact and fiction became a habitual practice that highlights the normalisation of socio-economic crises over the last five decades.
Ako citovať:
ISO 690:
Desplat, P. 2022. Doubting the Malagasy Remedy. Rumours and Suspicion During COVID-19 in Madagascar. In Slovenský národopis / Slovak Ethnology, vol. 70, no.3, pp. 411-429. 1339-9357. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/SN.2022.3.32

Desplat, P. (2022). Doubting the Malagasy Remedy. Rumours and Suspicion During COVID-19 in Madagascar. Slovenský národopis / Slovak Ethnology, 70(3), 411-429. 1339-9357. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/SN.2022.3.32
O vydaní:
Vydavateľ: Ústav etnológie a sociálnej antropológie SAV, v. v. i.
Publikované: 30. 9. 2022
Verejná licencia: