(The Humanitarian Social Network)
Check out this review: http://humanosphere.kplu.org/2012/10/film-review-half-the-sky-is-ha...
That's a great review. It pretty much says much of what I'd say.
Beyond ranting about celebs, I have to say that I truly do struggle with the question of the value added by celebrity advocacy ("awareness raising", among other pet terms). And in this case I consider Kristof, essentially, a celebrity.
It feels intuitively as if more people understanding how bad things are or can be for [PET DEMOGRAPHIC DU JOUR... women, children, farmers, whomever...] is a good thing. Yet I can't articulate a link between books/films like Half the Sky and things actually becoming better for [PET DEMOGRAPHIC DU JOUR].
"It’s not fair to blame the stars for the documentary’s problems. They certainly didn’t claim to be experts in how women are globally oppressed. And they certainly seem sincere in wanting to help.
But necklaces, platitudes, and pained expressions won’t save these girls…."
I've been thinking quite a lot about it. I fully agree with your point & also with the review, but to tell you the truth I do think funders use this method to raise money. I don't think raising awareness is the goal. In my country UNICEF does it every year: engaging celebs to raise money for children. They expect that people would pay more attention and give money away just because their favourite star is part of that. I'd really love to read some research on the effect that celebrities have on "the public" and why they are chosen as "leaders" or "role models" to engage people in donating money for diverse issues.
Here is another take from BuzzFeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/annanorth/the-anti-nicholas-kristof-backlash
Moore says ethical journalism will have to come in response to "reader demand." Readers should be asking themselves, "Who's being quoted? Are they all white? Are they young? Is there a translator present?" If everyone involved is speaking perfect English, they may be tailoring what they say to an English-speaking audience (though of course translators can tailor as well).
And one big solution to the problem of "speaking for" is to give women themselves the tools to speak — Momaya cites the International Women's Media Foundation as one group helping women tell their own stories, largely online. Better translation tools and the spread of social media may make it increasingly possible for women's voices to reach an international audience without the mediation of a foreign journalist.
I completely agree! And that's why I do what I do for a living :) Check an example of that in our recent work with adolescent girls: www.videogirlsforchange.org