Solar Isn't Shampoo

Based on about a decade of research (not only my research), this short animated film titled 'Solar Isn't Shampoo' distils some important critiques of market based access to energy (and other essential/basic needs/services). 

 Please feel free to use it for teaching/research.

The film was made possible by funding from the UK FCDO through the India-UK Development Partnership Forum run by the Margaret Anstee Centre for Global Studies

Amazing animation by Blossom Carrasco

Further Reading:

Balls, J.N. (2020) ‘Low-cost, adaptable solutions sell: Re-thinking off-grid solar diffusion at the bottom of the pyramid in India’, Energy Research & Social Science, 70(September), p. 101811. Available at:
Kumar, A. (2018) ‘Justice and politics in energy access for education, livelihoods and health: How socio-cultural processes mediate the winners and losers’, Energy Research and Social Science, 40(January 2017), pp. 3–13. Available at:
Kumar, A. (2021) ‘Between metis and techne: politics, possibilities and limits of improvisation’, Social and Cultural Geography, 22(6), pp. 783–806. Available at:
Kumar, A. et al. (2019) ‘Solar energy for all? Understanding the successes and shortfalls through a critical comparative assessment of Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Mozambique, Sri Lanka and South Africa’, Energy Research & Social Science, 48(March 2018), pp. 166–176. Available at:
Kumar, A. and Turner, B. (2019) ‘Sociomaterial solar waste: Afterlives and lives after of small solar’, in G. Bombaerts et al. (eds) Energy Justice Across Borders. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 155–173. Available at:
Samarakoon, S., Bartlett, A. and Munro, P. (2021) ‘Somewhat original: energy ethics in Malawi’s off-grid solar market’, Environmental Sociology, 00(00), pp. 1–12. Available at:
Cross, J. (2019) ‘The solar good: energy ethics in poor markets’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 25(S1), pp. 47–66. Available at:
Davies, G. (2018) ‘Clean energy product markets in sub-Saharan Africa: Complex market devices and power asymmetries’, Energy Research and Social Science, 42(November 2017), pp. 80–89. Available at:
Mawdsley, E. (2018) ‘“From billions to trillions”: Financing the SDGs in a world “beyond aid”’, Dialogues in Human Geography, 8(2), pp. 191–195. Available at:
McEwan, C. et al. (2017) ‘Enrolling the Private Sector in Community Development: Magic Bullet or Sleight of Hand?’, Development and Change, 48(1), pp. 28–53. Available at:
Liverman, D.M. (2018) ‘Geographic perspectives on development goals: Constructive engagements and critical perspectives on the MDGs and the SDGs’, Dialogues in Human Geography, 8(2), pp. 168–185. Available at: