Berlin and other cities are once again full of new advertising campaigns by development NGOs before Christmas. Even if they are new images, the messages remain the same: If we do not take action here in the Global North, people in the Global South will starve and die of thirst. And it is made easier and easier for us to calm our conscience: we only have to send an “action” by sms to a number of terre des hommes or bite into a delicious UNESCO pizza and already we “free” children from work and misery. We may, of course, continue sponsorships, although the concept of paternalism-generating sponsorship programs has been heavily criticized even within the development scene for years.
Through a simplistic message of help and mercy, political and historical contexts are denuded and instead white supremacy is further perpetuated. For example, instead of referring to political initiatives such as the World Movement of Working Children, Eurocentric narratives of the need for a blanket ban on child labor are further stabilized.
Alternative narratives from billboards and creative adbusts have been sent to the White Charity film project. However, the billboard company Ströer got to the point by placing an advertisement for Disney’s “Ralph reicht’s” with the slogan “Finally mal den Guten spielen” (Finally play the good guy) next to an advertisement for Welthungerhilfe (World Hunger Aid).