For those of us too young to remember, a group of Irish and British musicians came together to form the supergroup Band Aid and recorded the hit single “Do They Know It’s Christmas” just before the holidays in 1984. The goal was to raise money for anti-poverty efforts in Ethiopia.
In the U.S., a similar “charity single” was released by the United Support of Artists for Africa (USA for Africa) called “We Are the World” in 1985, which was inspired by the Band Aid single and written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
Today, in the year 2012, poverty remains, and yet another supergroup released a charity single. But this time it wasn’t about raising money for poverty or singing about helping Africa. The group, called Africa for Norway, created a parody that sings about Africans fundraising to send radiators to help Norway escape the cold and save them from “dying of frostbite”.
Except the real intention isn’t to ship radiators to Norway, but send a message about the dangers of distorted views and the limitations of aid. If everyone keeps getting fed the same messages about poverty, crime, AIDS, or hunger in Africa in fundraising campaigns, for example, it would always seem nothing gets better. Africa may be viewed as a place that people simply give to or give up on, the group explains.
So far, the music video has been viewed over 1,700,000 times on YouTube. Among the goals stated on their website, Africa for Norway hopes that fundraising is not based on exploiting stereotypes.
Photo from African for Norway.
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