Monday, December 3, 2012

Radi-Aid - Africa For Norway

The holiday season is upon us...besides being bombarded with consumer messages and saccharine holiday songs, it's also one of the most active times of year for charity organizations soliciting aid and donations.  A little over a week ago the Norwegian Students and Academics International Assistance Fund (SAIH) released an amazing campaign, entitled Radi-Aid.  The faux charity video is a spoof on the typical Band-Aid/We Are The World type call for action videos that are often full of patronizing language and imagery.  The premise is simple...if viewers knew nothing of Norway and saw the Radi-Aid video, what would they think of Norway?  Now apply that logic towards Africa and the aid campaigns that exploit the perception and imagery of a continent full of nothing but poverty, AIDS and crime.

SAIH is trying to reframe the typical fundraising campaign and striving to 'promote a more nuanced image on countries in the global south than is usually portrayed in the media and by some charitable organisations and fundraising initiatives. While there are negative issues that need to be reported and a lot of organisations are doing very important work, we are frustrated at the constant repetition of the same negative images. Since the narrative tends to be the same as it was when development assistance first started some 50 years ago, it might give the impression that none of these efforts have produced any results and thus lead to apathy.'  Check out the video below.
The Guardian has a great article on the campaign and you can read more on the Radi-Aid: Africa For Norway site.