23 November 2012

Africa For Norway | Radi-Aid Campaign

Africa For Norway is a satire campaign about Africans donating radiators to save freezing Norwegians from their treacherous northern winters. The campaign video begins with a rapper called Breezy V, who tells us about the suffering that is taking place. He says, "People don't ignore starving people, so why should we ignore cold people. Frostbite kills too." I must admit that these words have caused much laughter, because despite its absurd nature there is truth to the statement. He continues with, "We need to collect our radiators, ship them over there, and spread some warmth, spread some light, and spread some smiles. Say yes to Radi-aid."

A choir soon breaks into song, imitating the campaign styles of the 1984 Band-aid "Do they know it's Christmas?", the 1985 Live Aid "Norway for Africa", and the USA for Africa "We Are the World". The Radi-Aid group sings, "Now the tables have turned, now it's Africa for Norway, and there's no way we can close our eyes. We see that they freeze... Norway gave a helping hand. They taught us what to do. And now it's payback time."

Watch the campaign video below:

Why does this video matter? 
If this “Africa for Norway” video was the only information we got about Norway, we would perceive the country to be a place where people freeze with absolutely no access to heating. Likewise, Africa's negative image has  been the result of one-sided coverage on  hunger, poverty, crime and AIDS. The aim of the campaign is to demand that fundraising not be based on exploiting stereotypes, that more accurate information be shared in schools, that the media be respectful in its coverage of topics relating to Africa, and that aid be designed to meet real needs rather than "good" intentions.

Why do I care?
As an African who has lived in her home-country and abroad, I know all too well about the condescending non-profit campaigns, as well as the attitudes that my classmates, co-workers, and neighbours in the "developed world" have about Africa. Most of the close-minded, inaccurate ideas people have are often due to the disrespectful media coverage and the portrayal of Africa as helpless, poverty-ridden and corrupt. I enjoyed this video tremendously, and I thank the creators for the work that was put in. Let's challenge ourselves to stay informed on global matters and make the effort to dig deeper.

For more on the campaign, visit http://www.africafornorway.no/

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