Associating Africa with images of malnourished children and poverty-stricken war-torn areas is not new. What is new is that these images no longer stimulate enough compassion, at least, so says international aid agency, Oxfam.
This claim is based on the result of a recent survey, ”of public attitudes commissioned in support of the charity’s new Food for Alladvertising campaign that launches today.
When asked to select what they thought were the three most pressing problems facing Africa in 2013, almost half (47%) of more than 2,000 people surveyed by YouGov identified hunger. Nearly 3 in 4 (74%) of respondents thought it was ultimately possible to bring an end to hunger across the continent, but only 1 in 5 believed they could play an active role in solving the problem in Africa and elsewhere.
The survey suggests over-exposure to negative media and advertising portrayals of Africa and developing countries in other parts of the world may be contributing to this sense of disempowerment.
Respondents described this portrayal as ‘depressing, manipulative and hopeless’, with 43% of respondents saying it made them feel that conditions for people living in the developing world would never improve. Three out of five of those polled said they were or had become desensitised to images depicting issues such as hunger, drought and disease and almost 1 in 4 (23%) admitted they turned away when confronted by such images.”
The report can be found here: http://www.oxfamblogs.org/eastafrica/?p=5572