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Radi-Aid: Africa for Norway
November 19, 2012 11:23 AM   Subscribe

A Norwegian group called Radi-Aid has launched an appeal to ship radiators from Africa to Norway. They have also released a video to highlight the plight of freezing children during Norway's harsh winter.

The campaign is part of a Norwegian-government funded drive to change the way Africa is stereotyped. To that end, the spoof Radi-Aid website has a very real manifesto:

1. Fundraising should not be based on exploiting stereotypes.
Most of us just get tired if all we see is sad pictures of what is happening in the world, instead of real changes.

2. We want better information about what is going on in the world, in schools, in TV and media.
We want to see more nuances. We want to know about positive developments in Africa and developing countries, not only about crises, poverty and AIDS. We need more attention on how western countries have a negative impact on developing countries.

3. Media: Show respect
.
Media should become more ethical in their reporting. Would you print a photo of a starving white baby without permission? The same rules must apply when journalists are covering the rest of the world as it does when they are in their home country.

4. Aid must be based on real needs, not “good” intentions.
Aid is just one part of a bigger picture; we must have cooperation and investments, and change other structures that hold back development in poorer countries. Aid is not the only answer.
posted by MuffinMan (34 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't stop giggling for long enough to read the manifesto. That was awesome.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 11:34 AM on November 19, 2012


That was brilliant.
posted by chococat at 11:35 AM on November 19, 2012


This is pretty great, see also Pimp My Aid Worker
posted by Blasdelb at 11:36 AM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


an appeal to ship radiators

I spent an embarrassingly long time trying to parse this as an entreaty directed towards maritime heating units.
posted by exogenous at 11:39 AM on November 19, 2012 [23 favorites]


Something about the phrasing and the way the guy said "We need to collect our radiators, ship them over there, spread some warmth, spread some light, and spread some smiles" made me LOL all over this library.
posted by Corduroy at 11:40 AM on November 19, 2012


Saw this on the Guardian earlier. Very good.
posted by Jehan at 11:45 AM on November 19, 2012


Well that's clever!
posted by Mister_A at 11:47 AM on November 19, 2012


Mynd you, frøst bites Kan be pretty nasti...
posted by azpenguin at 11:47 AM on November 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's it, I'm booking a winter vacation somewhere warm and sunny right now.
posted by fshgrl at 11:47 AM on November 19, 2012


I was born and raised in a norsk community without heat. Oh we had radiators a course but would have greatly appreciated some far off culture sending maybe a pepper, some kind of spice, ANY food that didn't come covered in a cream sauce.
posted by hal9k at 11:52 AM on November 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


The line that got me, right off the bat, was the earnestly-delivered "a lot of people aren't aware of what's going on there right now"
SMASH CUT TO SAD OLD MAN SLIDING AROUND ON AN ICY ROAD.
posted by chococat at 11:53 AM on November 19, 2012 [12 favorites]


Frost world problems.
posted by Corduroy at 12:15 PM on November 19, 2012 [18 favorites]


The tags sound like the premise for a Monty Python sketch.
posted by dry white toast at 12:17 PM on November 19, 2012


And now it's payback time... LOL
posted by jim in austin at 12:18 PM on November 19, 2012


Do they know it's Christmas time at all?
posted by munchingzombie at 12:22 PM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


munchingzombie:
"Do they know it's Christmas time at all?"
Do they ever think it ISN'T Christmas time?
posted by charred husk at 12:29 PM on November 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


I agree with most of the "manifesto." Yet there's a condescending quality to the project that rubs me the wrong way. Of course Africa is more than emaciated kids covered with flies. But it's a fact that many African nations face poverty and health crises on a much greater scale than other parts of the world. The media coverage and fundraising campaigns being criticized here, however misguided they may be, have touched a lot of people and inspired them to contribute billions in an effort to help. While that whole apparatus should indeed be rethought, this feels like mockery -- "sure you care, but you don't care right."
posted by brain_drain at 12:42 PM on November 19, 2012


Lions and tigers? Only in Kenya.

Forget Norway.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:43 PM on November 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


I was nearly to the end before I took a good look at the lyrics "bouncing ball". Touché.
posted by dhartung at 12:54 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, Hugo Chavez in tropical Venezuela sends reduced price heating oil to help the poor in New England to get through our winters. So I didn't find it quite as far-fetched.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:11 PM on November 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Do they ever think it ISN'T Christmas time?

Only on the days it snows.
posted by biffa at 1:23 PM on November 19, 2012


These African do-gooders are fostering a culture of dependency among poor Norwegians and have bankrupted a number of promising Norwegian radiator manufacturers because their potential customers can just wait, shiver a little for the cameras, and get an African one for free instead. Haven't they done enough damage? Let Norway fix its own problems.
posted by Blue Meanie at 1:59 PM on November 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Even Hell freezes over in Norway.

But, the problems are real, man. On those really cold days in Oslo, the heaters in my apartment weren't enough to heat the place up, so i had to put on a whole extra sweater, and thick socks. Rough times.
posted by palbo at 2:27 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


exogenous: "an appeal to ship radiators

I spent an embarrassingly long time trying to parse this as an entreaty directed towards maritime heating units.
"

This is what happen when you noun verbs!
posted by symbioid at 2:50 PM on November 19, 2012


That's right Blue Meanie, and the best way to do that is for Norway to set up some Charter Cities, a la Romer, to spur innovation in heatmaking technology, because their big socialist governments stifle creativity in how to solve these problems. Radiators are surely one way, but they can find more that are suited to their unique needs, just get the government out of the way!
posted by symbioid at 2:53 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a dedicated radiator 'shipper I urge you to check out my new m/m a/c fanfic.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 2:58 PM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, isn't "to ship" a noun that's been through verbination?
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 3:03 PM on November 19, 2012


Remember that adage, if you teach a man to ice fish....
posted by etaoin at 3:09 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


What? I don't get it, this doesn't fit in with my African Stereotypes at all.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:57 PM on November 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


P.o.B.: "What? I don't get it, this doesn't fit in with my African Stereotypes at all."

Your African Stereotypes are brilliant!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:53 PM on November 19, 2012


I love the manifesto, and would love to hear some people in aid organisations responding to it.

Whilst I personally agree with its points, I know a lot of people in the aid sector who would say that those simplistic messages are very good at what they're made to do - get people to open their wallets. And they have metrics to back it up, too. And they don't cost a lot of air time, etc. It's the same reason UNICEF had the gall to telemarket me, despite losing me as a supporter for medium-term as a result - they get more money than lost supporters that way.

Now, you could discuss what price that wallet-opening comes at, the collateral damage of cultural cliche, wasteful programs, the way we actually think about aid and its accountability - and what is actually a form of racism in many ways. That's a totally valid discussion. I think the manifesto address this somewhat with point 4.

The other thing that leapt out at me was the reliance on the media, print and broadcast. I'm sure a lot of those same aid-orgs would point out how dependent they are on getting a run in the media above and beyond advertising, and how media requests shape the content they produce.
posted by smoke at 5:22 PM on November 19, 2012


charred husk:
munchingzombie:"Do they know it's Christmas time at all?"
Do they ever think it ISN'T Christmas time?
Here in Amurika, we have only two seasons: The Runup to the Election, and Christmas.

I'll be damned if Ima gonna shop for Christmas before I finish not bothering to vote, though. That's going too far!
posted by IAmBroom at 11:06 AM on November 20, 2012


So, Kenya no longer wants to physically urinate on Norway?

Maybe once they've firmly established a working colony of radiators, they could send Lions? And tigers?
posted by jacquilynne at 9:55 PM on November 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Maybe once they've firmly established a working colony of radiators, they could send Lions? And tigers?

No, those are ONLY in Kenya.
posted by bookdragoness at 2:00 PM on December 11, 2012


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