Charity









Africans are reaching out to poor, cold Norwegians through Radi-Aid, a charity effort that seeks to place radiators in the homes of Norway’s frigid families. Okay, well maybe not. It’s actually a send-up of similarly myopic Western charities that treat Africa as some kind of homogeneous mono-culture:

Via the Daily Dot:

The song and video were actually made by a Norwegian group, The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund, with African help: The music was written by Wathiq Hoosain, the lyrics by Bretton Woods and the video was produced by Ikind Productions. The point they are trying to make is how tunnel-vision Western images of Africa are.

“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?”

Read more about the video and its creators at the Daily Dot.



Via Warscapes, Dinaw Mengestu explains that the viral video’s appeal is that “the real star of Kony 2012 isn’t Joseph Kony, it’s us”: Kony 2012 is the most successful example of the…



Nearly 70 million people have watched Kony 2012, but almost none of them have been Ugandans, since internet access in their country is spotty. Thus a charity held a public screening so that actual victims of the civil strife could see the video. The reaction? Extremely negative, as the viewing began with eager anticipation and culminated with people hurling rocks at the screen in disgust over the video’s self-congratulatory nature, its focus on a white American and his young son, and its perceived use of Ugandans as props in a promotional campaign for Invisible Children:


In response to the KONY 2012 saga, the Awareness 2012 Campaign has been unrolled. No doubt in collaboration with marketing campaigns organized by leading corporations, through social media, it aims to make young people more aware:


Matador Network on the “worst attempts at helping others since colonialism”. There’s the inexplicable — entrepreneur Jason Sadler’s 1 Million T-Shirts campaign, which involved producing and shipping a million t-shirts for donation…


Site editor’s note: if you have been following this political/internet/media explosion you may find this recent story posted to disinfo.com in December as an interesting footnote to the outcome.

These people will enjoy no more burritos until unborn babies are no longer terminated. Until Abortion Ends is a perplexing and to some extent inadvertently amusing trend in which people pledge to give up various things “until abortion ends”. (Although I assume they actually mean “until abortion becomes criminalized”.)



Cyriaque Lamar writes on io9:

The notion of a panhandling robot may sound like pure fiction, but roboticists in South Korea have worked together with MIT Media Lab to create with DONA, a motion-sensing bot built to solicit street donations.

DONA’s makers are donating the robot’s earnings to fund education in the Ivory Coast, so you won’t feel suckered dropping some won in its collection cup.




Is there a better way to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research than getting a crowd of people to ride a rollercoaster naked? I can’t think of one. More than 200 people showed up in Southend, Essex to ride the Green Scream. As well as breaking a record amount of nude people on a single rollercoaster, £22,000 were raised for the Southend Hospital breast care unit. ITN News:


A short animated film of a talk by philosopher/theorist Slavoj Zizek, who is always eager to push people’s buttons. Zizek examines the ethics and effects of charitable giving, and concludes that charity has a dark side, in that it helps preserve the status quo: