Embedded in the general discourse of Self and Other, xenophobia and racism, the discussion about billboard advertisements should clarify how the discourse of White charity organisations can be the vehicle of discriminating and restricting stereotypes. Following the question of what and who is not shown on the posters, we are investigating the topic of the White self-image of charity organisations. We will discuss their influence on the public perceptions of colonial and current power relations.
Consumers of advertisement in train stations or on the street can tell us what effect the posters have on them and which connotations they are bearing. Interviews with experts on the other hand offer the possibility to understand the complex history of colonialism and racism inherent in the posters
Our documentary focuses on billboard advertisements of charity organizations.
These are shaped to a varying extent by missonary, religious, humanitarian and political motives. Most NGOs were founded in the 1950ies, whereas religious charities have deeper historical roots: the missionaries, who apart from making people convert to christianity had many projects in the field of health or education which the NGOs continued.
The fight against poverty, security of existence, improvement of health care, among others are seen as aims of the development industry.
The billboard advertisements of the organisations have the largest impact on society by their public position in streets and train stations. While some organistions capture large advertisement spaces, others restrain from bilboard advertisement because of various reasons. On one hand that is because of varying dependencies on donations or on the other possibly of a more critical usage of images.
There has been a change in the modes of representation in the last decades. In our analysis we include the cracks and consistencies of this development. Beside sponsoring of projects and programs some organisations are dedicated to education, raising puplic awareness and advocacy activities in Germany. In our documentary we treat billboard advertisements as part of public awareness activities.