Tag Archives: EZ

Not all that glitters is gold! – Rusty and Golden Radiator Awards leave a bitter aftertaste

Announced today, December 10
SAIH – The Norwegian Students and Academics International Assistance Fund
announced the winners of two international awards: the Rusty Radiator Award for the most damaging fundraising video and the Golden Radiator Award for the most creative fundraising video. Much media attention and more than two million clicks on the satirical video “Radi-Aid: Africa for Norway” released a year ago have encouraged SAIH to take new actions. The awards were accompanied by a new video clip “Let’s save Africa! – gone wrong”, in which the young black Michael shows us common patterns in fundraising. He makes Western expectations his profession: “Every time these filmmakers come to us in Africa, I’m the first person they call. I’m incredibly talented. Wait – this is sad Africa.”

The short film successfully problematizes in a satirical way how charity commercials are shot. From reports of filmmakers who have been involved in such shoots, we know how people are literally trained to look sad, women have to take off their jewelry for the shoot, or children have to exchange their school uniforms for dirty rags – sometimes despite the objections and incomprehension of those photographed. It does not make the situation any better that many aid organizations have long since switched to shooting their commercials and posters in Europe and casting Black people and People of Color here for their purposes.

Thanks to the Radiator Awards, the discussion about problematic donation advertising in the run-up to Christmas has also made it into Germany’s leading media. On “Let’s save Africa! – gone wrong”, for example, the Süddeutsche Zeitung has published an article. The racism researcher cited in it, Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard, has her say in a lengthy interview on Deutschlandradio Kultur and comments on the clip as follows:

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The Big Five as dangerous as ever: German development cooperation, colonial-racist imagery, and civil society’s response

In response to the various statements against the BMZ poster campaign “The Big Five”, we have written an article that is intended to present a self-critical review and to make the debate accessible to an English-speaking audience. The article has been published in the journal Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices. We hope it is helpful for the further discussion about racism and power relations in DC. The article can be downloaded here.

Institutional discrimination

Recently, the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency published its new report on discrimination in education and employment. The report not only details how discriminatory and exclusionary the German education and employment landscape is, it also makes extensive recommendations for change.

A look at development policy institutions and organizations in Germany confirms that here, too, and especially here, these recommendations should urgently be taken note of. The newly founded umbrella organization Migration-Development-Participation e.V. (MEPa) emphasizes in a statement that they “miss an adequate integration of migrant experts in many federal states” and that they “do not see equal opportunities for migrants in the NGO structures at present”. AG Sporen lobal from Hamburg is even more specific. In an article entitled “One year of accusations of racism against Eine Welt Netzwerk Hamburg e.V.”, she looks back at how the accusation of structural racism against the state network was dealt with:
“A wall of silence surrounds the moveGLOBAL affair, like most discrimination cases in this country. The personalities in the former moveGLOBAL project advisory board cover EWNW’s back and sweep the affair under the carpet. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Landesnetzwerke in der Eine-Welt-Arbeit – agl – does not question its Hamburg member EWNW. The partly newly elected board of the EWNW is silent – as is the old one. The donor BMZ seems to have forgotten the issue. Business as usual – One year of accusations of racism against Eine Welt Netzwerk Hamburg e. V.”

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weltwärts without helping?

The website of the development policy volunteer service weltwärts has been completely redesigned. Not only has the layout changed, but a realignment in terms of content has also been announced. In the follow-up process of the evaluation, it was decided to delete the much-criticized slogan “Learning by actively helping” without replacement. From now on, Weltwärts sees itself as a learning service rather than an aid service.

The first glance at the new homepage makes it clear that the helping discourse is still very much present: if no longer in the slogan, then almost more prominently in the interactive banner that dominates the home page, but also all the subpages. Individual actors of the program have their say here and almost everywhere there are formulations that describe an active, helping role of weltwärts volunteers in their host countries:

Corinna W., Bolivia: “In Bolivia I learn many things for my life that I would not learn at university. I’m doing something meaningful and discovering a different culture at the same time, so I don’t regret my decision at any moment.”

Stefan Beutel, Managing Director of DRK Soziale Freiwilligendienste Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: “I am thrilled about weltwärts! The volunteers support the outreach projects and also learn a lot about the culture and people of the outreach country.”

Lourdes Jibaja, Asociacion Cultural Estrella del Sur, Peru: “Volunteers are making a difference in the remote communities we work with that have been neglected by the state.”

Andrea P., volunteer seminar leader: “We are one of the oldest volunteer service organizations in Togo and are committed to intercultural exchange between local communities and weltwärts volunteers to promote sustainable development.”

Gerónimo Vera, Asosiacón de Usuarios de Manglar Cerrito de los Morreños: “In the Gulf of Guayaquil, we jointly implement projects for better health care, waste disposal or drinking water treatment.”


School partnerships for peace?

In the last few months, two new, interesting publications have appeared on the subject of school partnerships. Luise Steinwachs from Berlin Postkolonial analyzes in the study “Personal Encounters in School Partnerships” which influence South-North student exchanges have on the identity development of students in Germany. In doing so, it comes to the following conclusions, among others:

1. personal encounters in the context of school partnerships can reinforce prejudices and stereotypes.
2. in a large part of the school partnerships that participated in the survey, the developmental embedding of the partnership is not sufficient to see through global contexts. Therefore, simplified explanatory patterns are resorted to.
3. the period of personal encounters of about three weeks is not sufficient to actually dare to take steps in uncertainty and incomprehension. The explanatory patterns of the young people serve primarily to reassure themselves and little irritation is allowed.

Another bilingual German-Spanish publication of KATE contains interviews with different actors of school partnerships. The brochure stands out positively due to a large number of power-critical questions. Rather than sticking to the classic tone of intercultural communication, Claudia Schilling of the ENSA program, for example, addresses issues such as privilege, unequal partnerships, and the question of defining power. In a world of school partnerships, which is often more of a world of school sponsorships, where helping and development are two common motives, this is a new language. However, it should be noted here that, especially in the ENSA program, these new perspectives have been or are accompanied by protracted discussions, exclusions, and reproductions of racism.

Postcolonial Studies in Development and Global Education

For all those who are interested in looking beyond the German discussion, the new blog that Prof. Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti has started might be interesting: Postcolonial Studies in Development and Global Education. It is intended to serve as an international network of scholars and practitioners working on postcolonial perspectives on development cooperation and global learning and is open to active participation.

Develop-mental Turn

In April, the Berliner Entwicklungspolitische Ratschlag e.V. (BER) published “Develop-mental Turn. Neue Beiträge zu einer rassismuskritischen entwicklungspolitischen Bildungs- und Projektarbeit.”, a new edition of the brochure “Von Trommlern und Helfern” published in 2007. In addition to many new articles on current discussions on racism critique and development cooperation, the brochure contains a number of articles by glokal and glokal members, e.g. on the basics of racism-critical and postcolonial perspectives on development cooperation as well as on the fields of work weltwärts voluntary service, fundraising, development education and fair trade.

The brochure can be ordered from BER.

Intercultural opening of the development scene

Development policy is one of the most international fields of work. This is why it is often particularly surprising to find that most institutions and non-governmental organizations employ almost exclusively people from the dominant majority society: People from the Global South, Black people and People of Color seem to be more or less structurally excluded.

In recent years, several projects and initiatives have been found that have tried to advance the issue of so-called intercultural opening in the development policy scene, primarily in civil society. One of the projects was the “move glokal/move global” project in Hamburg, which ended prematurely. In the meantime, not only an evaluation of the EWNW project is online, but also a rebuttal by the terminated project manager Dr. Ali Fathi. Continue reading