Whoever said Norwegians don’t have a sense of humor? Just in time for the holidays, a Norwegian group calling itself Radi-Aid has launched an appeal to ship radiators from Africa to Norway. Their cause is the plight of freezing children during Norway’s harsh winter months. It’s complete with a new music video, and incorporates all the right tropes. See here, here and here.
Some people might miss the satire, but Radi-Aid isn’t playing around though. Their effort is a serious critique of misguided development, and of the Western media coverage which often accompanies it. What they want: Fundraising should not be based on exploiting stereotypes; better information (in schools, on TV and in media) about what is going on in the world; that media show respect to Africans; and that aid must be based on real needs, not “good” intentions.
Hallelujah! We here at AIAC couldn’t be more thrilled. We hope to interview the good folks at Radi-Aid (and the The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund, the people behind it), so that we can come back to you to tell you how they developed and funded their campaign. (Also, in preparation for spending this Christmas in Stavanger, Norway’s second city and the heart of its oil industry, I’m curious as to whether I might qualify for a radiator, or at least a new fleece and a bottle of Aquavit?
Just in case you think this is an isolated incidence of Scandinavian brilliance, we were also referred today by Norwegian Magnus Bjørnsen to artist Morten Traaviks’ “pimp my aidworker” project, “a mock fundraiser for Western aid workers.”