Digital Participation: Who Wants to be a Volunteer?
This is a hilarious satirical video by a Norwegian group called “Students and Academics International Assistance Fund” (when put through Google Translate; the original name is in Norwegian) to promote the Rusty Radiator Awards, which “award” the most stereotypical fundraising campaigns that make use of such tropes as the White Savior and Exotic Other. They also have a Golden Radiator Award, which is given to the most creative fundraising campaigns that don’t make use of harmful stereotypes. The video, Who Wants to be a Volunteer?, makes fun of tropes used in fundraising campaigns and it makes fun of American/European young adults to go to Africa to “save” it while knowing nothing about it, not even that it’s more than one country. While humorous all the way through, from its Amazing Race-esque start to it’s group dance number finish, near the end there is a moment of seriousness when the words “STEREOTYPES HARM DIGNITY” are shown on a black screen. I think in all that we’ve talked during this class about the White Savior complex and the problems with this kind of fundraising, these three words sum it up perfectly. It also reminds me of Adichie’s TED Talk about the problem of the single story. (By the way, on the Rusty Radiator Awards site you can see all the 2014 nominees. I highly suggest seeing how awful some of these ads are. You can also vote for your favorite!)