Africa: Help us send radiators to Norway!

Meet Radi-Aid: A campaign asking you to send your radiators to frostbitten Norwegians -- and rethink poverty porn VIDEO

Topics: feed the children, sally struthers, poverty porn, Activism, Video, Charity, Norway, Africa, kony 2012, ,

Africa: Help us send radiators to Norway! (Credit: YouTube)

Remember Band-Aid, the 1984 supergroup responsible for “Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” the song that taught the world Africa is a place “where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow?” (Really, no rain? Toto would disagree.) Well, it’s been 28 years and Africans are ready to repay the favor — with another power ballad.

Enter: Radi-Aid, a campaign to send radiators to frostbitten Norwegians. Watch as a rapper called Breezy V explains the perils of sub-zero temperatures, and let’s Africans know that they have the power to help:

In Norway kids are freezing / It’s time for us to care / There’s heat enough for Norway / If Africans would share

Radi-Aid is the brainchild of The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund, an organization of students and academics in Norway focused on North-South cooperative development. Besides being a spot-on parody of other campaigns (Cough. KONY 2012. Cough.), Radi-Aid is a humorous but thoughtful critique of poverty porn, the Sally Struthers-style of advocacy that relies on pity and one-dimensional storytelling to make its point. From the website:

You Might Also Like

Imagine if every person in Africa saw the “Africa for Norway” video and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway?

The truth is that there are many positive developments in African countries, and we want these to become known. We need to change the simplistic explanations of problems in Africa. We need to educate ourselves on the complex issues and get more focus on how western countries have a negative impact on Africa’s development. If we want to address the problems the world is facing we need to do it based on knowledge and respect.

Radi-Aid might be a parody, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have a real impact. Slowly, campaigns like this (and other notables like Mama Hope) are replacing poverty porn with a more authentic, honest approach to cooperation and global advocacy.

And as for those poor Norwegians? Take heart, the radiators are in the mail.

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>