It sounds like the start of a bad joke: how does a “caucasian, pigment-challenged” Dane become Liberia’s diplomatic representative in the Central African Republic? According to Mads Brügger’s The Ambassador, surprisingly easily: with a mercenary resolve and enough dollars, a seat at the table is apparently open to anyone.
Though a known media
figure in Denmark, UK audiences will mostly be unfamiliar with Brügger,
whose brand of ‘performative journalism’ is loosely akin with prankster
documentarians like The Yes Men: setting the world to rights
with outrageous stunts, provoking laughs then making them stick in the
throat. Brügger never lets his mask slip: as he inveigles his way into
diplomatic circles via title brokers and cash bribes (or, if you prefer,
“envelopes of happiness”), he embodies exploitation in order to expose
it, and while there may be limited political impact to making a corrupt
elite look foolish, his gonzo tactics raise uncomfortable questions of
liability without the need for off-putting self-righteousness.