Enjoy Poverty by Renzo Martens and Orientalism Edward W.Said

cordaid original

The image that is posted above has a lot of elements that can be studied in context to the Documentary film Enjoy Poverty and the term Orientalism. Firstly lets discuss the image itself, i found this image online from an award winning Cordaid “people in need” campaign (Silver at the Cannes Lions 2007 in the category Outdoor).

Cordaid based in Netherlands ,is an organization and their goal is to create opportunities for the world’s poorest, most vulnerable and excluded people.The organization consists of eight topic areas: healthcare, disaster response, entrepreneurship, women’s leadership, child & education, urban matters, and investments. The purpose of the People in Need’s ad is to try to encourage people to be selfless and motivate society to donate money, the primary audience are the citizens of Netherlands.

To me this ad did not carry the message to donate or to provide charity. However it does carry a discourse of information with a strategy . The subtext of this ad is similar to the documentary film Enjoy Poverty by Renzo Martens initially released in 2008 (Netherlands). The documentary had a similar narrative to this ad where the film maker’s goal was shown to find poverty as a resource for the people who were helpless despite of several other world support organizations were working to improve the poor’s living. A White man helping black people so to speak.

As an audience however the question remains, is this kind of work actually working against poverty if yes then why is there so much focus on the doing rather on the goal itself?  or is the strategy  based on showing the west to be superior? or the aim is to create awareness in promoting organizations like cordaid?

As mentioned in the readings “Orientalism depends for its strategy on this flexible positional where the west has a relationship with the orient without ever losing them; having an upper hand.” This is exactly what i want to address here, that  the sense of guilt, sadness and emotional appeal should not be sold to gain popularity and win awards, the campaign should have a purpose targeting more towards the real idea of working towards the progress of humanity not themselves.

i have edited the original ad and have added a child that in my opinion adds  more realism.


Source : http://www.gutewerbung.net/award-winning-cordaid-people-in-need-campaign/


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