Saturday, 1 December 2012

Turning tables: Radi-aid - Africa for Norway

The usual scenario is one aid agency or another in one European country or another, raising funds or gathering items to send to Africa for one cause or another. As much as they mean well, they often use hard hitting, negative images to drive their point home. Leaving people with the impression that Africa is only full of hardship, disease, death, etc. These images stick with people and may in turn affect tourism and investment, not just in the affected country but in other African countries as well.
In this parody video, the tables have [finally] turned!
It's an attack on the stereo types are usually used to drum up support for aid agencies and the effect that they have on developing countries.
They explain it all clearly on their website: :


Imagine if every person in Africa saw the “Africa for Norway” video and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway?
If we say Africa, what do you think about? Hunger, poverty, crime or AIDS? No wonder, because in fundraising campaigns and media that’s mainly what you hear about.
The pictures we usually see in fundraisers are of poor African children. Hunger and poverty is ugly, and it calls for action. But while these images can engage people in the short term, we are concerned that many people simply give up because it seems like nothing is getting better. Africa should not just be something that people either give to, or give up on.
The truth is that there are many positive developments in African countries, and we want these to become known. We need to change the simplistic explanations of problems in Africa. We need to educate ourselves on the complex issues and get more focus on how western countries have a negative impact on Africa’s development. If we want to address the problems the world is facing we need to do it based on knowledge and respect.

  1. Fundraising should not be based on exploiting stereotypes.
    Most of us just get tired if all we see is sad pictures of what is happening in the world, instead of real changes.
  2. We want better information about what is going on in the world, in schools, in TV and media.
    We want to see more nuances. We want to know about positive developments in Africa and developing countries, not only about crises, poverty and AIDS. We need more attention on how western countries have a negative impact on developing countries.
  3. Media: Show respect.
    Media should become more ethical in their reporting. Would you print a photo of a starving white baby without permission? The same rules must apply when journalists are covering the rest of the world as it does when they are in their home country.
  4. Aid must be based on real needs, not “good” intentions.
    Aid is just one part of a bigger picture; we must have cooperation and investments, and change other structures that hold back development in poorer countries. Aid is not the only answer.

These guys are brilliant!!!
[More positive images of Africa please!!!]

Did you enjoy the video? what do you think? Is this a good way to turn things around or just a flash in the pan?