Friday, August 05, 2011

The "Live Aid" Legacy

Just a reminder that good intentions really aren't enough (from the blog of the same name) and a look back at the disturbing legacy of Live Aid and how it ended up being a step back:

Starving children with flies around their eyes
80% of the British public strongly associate the developing world with doom-laden images of famine, disaster and Western aid. Sixteen years on from Live Aid, these images are still top of mind and maintain a powerful grip on the British psyche.

Victims are seen as less than human
Stereotypes of deprivation and poverty, together with images of Western aid, can lead to an impression that people in the developing world are helpless victims. 74% of the British public believe that these countries “depend on the money and knowledge of the West to progress.”

False sense of superiority and inferiority
The danger of stereotypes of this depth and magnitude is the psychological relationship they create between the developed and the developing world, which revolves around an implicit sense of superiority and inferiority.

Powerful giver and grateful receiver
The Live Aid Legacy defines the roles in our relationship with the developing world. We are powerful, benevolent givers; they are grateful receivers. There is no recognition that we in Britain may have something to gain from the relationship.

Confidence in out-of-date knowledge
Researchers remarked on the respondents’ confidence in such one-dimensional images. British consumers are not hesitating or seeking reassurance for their views. Unconsciously accumulated images of the developing world have led to a certainty on the part of consumers that they have all the facts.

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