You may have heard of the Africa for Norway campaign that made a few waves last year. If you haven’t, it’s a distinctly tongue in cheek campaign to encourage Africans to send jumpers and heaters to Norway, where people are suffering from the cold. It’s got a charity song and everything.
The point of it was to highlight the stereotyping of Africa, and the campaign has evolved an award. Two actually. The rusty radiator award goes to the charity producing the most cliched and unhelpful video about Africa. The golden radiator goes to the charity offering the most innovative and empowering vision of Africa.
“Hunger and poverty is ugly, and it calls for action. However, we need to create engagement built on knowledge, not stereotypes” say the organisers. “Stereotypical imagery is hurting both the cause and the people being portrayed. It’s taking away people’s dignity and agency, while creating apathy instead of action amongst people in the rest of the world.” Instead, videos should be creative, give people a voice, and avoid oversimplifying and emotional manipulation.
The website features a shortlist of bad and good examples, and you can vote for the best and the worst. Check out the website here.