The Live Aid Legacy report – Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)

On how stereotypes and Live Aid have had a negative impact on the public opinion on humanitarian aid in the UK

  • 80% of the British public strongly associate developing countries with (stereotypical) disturbing images of famine, disaster and Western aid;
  • This can lead to an impression that people in developing countries are helpless victims. 74% of the British public believe that the developing world depends on the money and knowledge of the West to progress;
  • As a result, these stereotypes create a psychological relationship between the Western and the developing world in which the Western world is depicted as “superior” over the “inferior” developing world. The Live Aid Legacy demonstrates this unbalanced relationship. Whilst the Western aid givers are portrayed as powerful and benevolent givers (by the media); the Ethiopian government/Ethiopians are depicted as grateful receivers. Likewise, the British public doesn’t seem to believe that Britain may gained something from the relationship with Ethiopia;
  • Researchers of the VSO who conducted the research on the respondents’ confidence report alarming one-dimensional responses characterised, showing a strong sense of stereotype thinking. The British respondents included in the interview are not willing to change their views on the topic. Images of the developing world published by media outlets have led these consumers to think that they have all the facts.
  • Link:











Music as an immaterial art

Hi guys,

I watched a talk by one of my favourite artists Marina Abramovićhave, and get some ideas about music from her talk, just want to share with you, maybe helpful. 

Music (an art form) is an immaterial art.

Music – Immaterial art

When we talk about immaterial art, music is the highest art form because it is immaterial.

What is Immateriality?

Music/Performance – if you start to miss it, you only have the memory, the story that someone else telling you, but you actually miss all thing. So you have to be there.

Relating to the film I also recommend Bohemian Rhapsody, I think we can have more perspectives on our topic. Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.


How effective was Live Aid?

Necessity to look at the money raised

  • Donations: reports + investigations, do they contredict each other? What is the percentage of donations that actually went to charity?
  • Other types of income from LA: tickets, merch, TV rights, TV advertisement income… also inquire about the percentage that actually went to Ethiopia vs the costs of putting LA together.

Consequences on African Politics

Where did the money go, through which channels (NGOs?). What were the infrastructures used to handle the money? LA money given to the governement of Ethiopia later revealed to be violating international law (mass murder, repression etc). Were NGOs aware?

Consequences on World Politics

Western led charity concert means western money going to Africa. Normative spreading? Soviet concern. Spheres of influence in Africa. Role of development aid in spreading values.

People’s opinions

  • people of Ethiopia
  • people attending the concert
  • people organising the concert
  • volunteers/heads of NGOs

Looking at this through interviews.

A few relevant articles

Here are some more useful material on live aid and its consequences.

Famine and Foreigners: Ethiopia Since Live Aid, By Peter Gill

Who Is the World?: Reflections on Music and Politics Twenty Years after Live Aid, by Reebee Garofalo


It could also be interesting to think about Live 8 as an attempt to recreate Live Aid. Why hasn’t there been anything similar since? Thinking about the social media era and its implications, as well as the diversification of music genres.


Articles relevant to Live Aid


Here are a few Jstor articles that may be relevant to our topic about the Live Aid concert. Hopefully reading these will give us a more specific scope and premise that we can work on.

Notes from our 23/1 session


Hey guys,

Sorry for the delay in posting these notes from our last meeting. I tried adding the pictures of the notes we took on the white board, however I’m not sure it worked. We’ll have to wait and see! 

Regardless, I typed them out anyway in case they were hard to read or didn’t get posted:  

  • Gabber- Dutch society
  • Live Aid- African politics
  • House Music- Race/sexuality
  • Festivals -Glastonbury/Tomorrowland
  • Jazz- Race
  • L Word- Female representation in entertainment/Queer?
  • Bechdel Test
  • Judith Butler