New reality TV spoof mocks westerners’ stereotypes of Africa

- Portraying poor people in development countries as apathetic victims needing help from rich benefactors in the West is disrespectful and damaging, says SAIH president Jørn Wichne Pedersen.

SAIH has launched its new video “Who wants to be a volunteer”. The new video contains elements of humor and reality-TV to illustrate some of the most stereotypical representations of Africa.

The video is the follow up of the music video hit Radi-Aid: Africa for Norway from 2012 and charity video parody Let’s Save Africa, gone wrong, which have been seen by millions from all over the world. In March, the latter became one of the 10 winners of ”ads worth spreading” by the web communication gigant TED.

- We want to end stereotypical and pessimistic communication in fundraising campaigns. Lack of knowledge and bad consiousness leads us to believe in simple solutions when confronted with an unjust world, says Pedersen.

The new video raises attention to images of Africa many can relate to, the creators think. The video is not a critique of youth traveling to Africa to work as volunteers, but rather of the simplistic exotification of the continent that still dominates today.

Awarding the worst and best fundraising campaign

Also this year, the video is made in colaboration with the Durban, South Africa, based company iKind. The release marks the beginning of the voting for the international Rusty Radiator Awards. On the 2nd of December, the best and worst fundraising campaign will be awarded. The selected videos are nominated by an international jury.

- With Africa for Norway, we saw an enormous international interest to change stereotypes conerning developing countries. The goal with the award is to promote creativity and innovation in aid communication, says Pedersen.

Among this year’s nominated videos are Save the Children UK ”Most Shocking Second a Day Video”, selected for the Golden Radiator category, which goes to the charity offering the most innovative and empowering vision. In the Rusty category, which goes to the charity producing the most cliched and unhelpful fundraising video, Concern Worldwide is nominated with ”Hunger Stops Here”.

For more information about the jury, the nominees and the Rusty Radiator Award:

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