Representing financial inclusion: The CGAP microfinance photo contest (Respond to this article at

  • A. Schwittay (2013). Anthropology Today, 9-12
  • Abstract: This article examines representations of financial inclusion through the lens of the CGAP microfinance photo contest. It situates the contest's winning images within current contestations surrounding global financial inclusion strategies, to show how these photos construct particular representations of microfinance that legitimize CGAP's minimalist, commercially-driven model. The production of the need for large-scale financial inclusion is key to this model, which is depicted through gendered representations of microfinance beneficiaries. On the one hand, the CGAP photos present a shift from stereotypical images of female micro-entrepreneurs in traditional contexts to more complex images that disrupt such stereotypes while at the same time reinforcing other assumptions about microfinance. On the other, they bring men back into the picture as worthy microfinance recipients. While contributing to pluralist representations that valorize photography in developing countries, the CGAP microfinance photo contest is ultimately unable to portray the complexities and contradictions of financial inclusion interventions. RAI 2013.
  • Theme: Finance
  • Keywords:
  • Reference type: Journal Article
  • Geographic location: International
  • Quality:
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