Tag Archives: Sao Tome

The Great Boycott that Didn’t Happen: Drinking Cocoa and the Absence of a São Tomé Blood-Cocoa Topos

12 Oct

 

Schivelbusch’s hot chocolate slumber: “drinking chocolate was meant to create an intermediate state between lying down and sitting up” (1993: 91)

This post suggests how a widepread public consumer boycott was avoided by the British chocolate firms, Cadbury, Rowntree and Fox in the wake of the publication of Nevinson’s A Modern Slavery.  I point to the ways in which the São Tomé cocoa scandal was contained, and how a visceral and implicating consumer-producer topos was avoided.

Without the antislavery suggestion of white on black anthropophagia that characterized the sugar abstention campaigns, a blood-cocoa topos was inconceivable. I believe that the absence of a topos to fictionalise and disgust, to romanticize and make poetic, drew the sting out of moralizing arguments, and disabled a widespread politics of pity for the São Tomé cocoa producer.

 

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Introducing the big consumer boycott that didn’t happen: Quaker chocolate and the São Tomé cocoa scandal 1902-9

5 Oct

 

Key activist contact points: Birmingham, London

Keywords:  Quakerism ,  paternalism, sobriety, humanitarianism, antislavery

Topoi relationship: consumer boycott avoidance demanded anti-visceral filters implemented to prevent the widespread mobilization of cocoa abjection

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Reflecting on Emma Robertson’s ‘Chocolate, Women and Empire’

30 Sep

Emma Robertson. Chocolate, Women and Empire, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009 ISBN: 9780719077777 (cloth).

I’m currently drafting a review for Antipode on Emma Robertson’s book, but as I think its a really good book, I’d like to give you a brief taster of its themes here.

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