Amaranta Wright was a young writer living in Miami when Levi's hired her to travel through Latin America. Her brief was to befriend teenagers and report back with every aspect of their lives: their hopes, fears, dreams and aspirations. At first, she saw the job as a means to travel around a continent she loved. But as time passed, the more sinister and divisive aspects of what she was being asked to do became apparent, her attempts to understand the dispossessed of these countries constantly frustrated by the mechanics of corporate globalisation - its unspoken aim to reduce individuals to bullet points.
This is a compellingly humane portrait of a continent in crisis - riddled with paradox, complexity, beauty and brutality. It is a book about the arrogance with which we in the West refer to 'developing' continents, the developed world's overarching desire to turn people into consumers, and the often insidious methods employed to this end. It is about what happens when indigenous voices are silenced by corporate vision.
An evocative, startling and politically-incisive book.
Amaranta Wright was born in Buenos Aires in 1972. After reading History at Magdalen College, Oxford, she returned to Argentina and wrote for the Buenos Aires Herald. It was while working in Miami that she was recruited by Levi Strauss as an undercover researcher. Her brief was to investigate the youth of Latin America. She writes for the Financial Times, amongst others, and is seeking funding for an ethical magazine for teenagers.