Tonight I watched for the second time the movie “NO” with Gael Garcia Bernal, which I highly recommend anyone that takes freedom for granted to watch:
But the lessons from the movie, where an ad executive helps create a controversial media campaign opposing military dictator Augusto Pinochet during the referendum on his presidency in 1988, go well beyond lessons that Venezuela should adopt in an effort to rid Venezuela of the impoverishing politics that have plagued it since Chavez and Chavez-influenced governments have been in power.
This week, I watched a new PSA created by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), titled “Diabetes Kills“. I am not embedding the video in this post because it portrays a message that I refuse to support, one that is disempowering and seeks to get people to pay attention by making them feel afraid. In response to this PSA, I shared the following comment with IDF and with a fellow diabetes advocacy blog that told me they were considering writing a piece about the PSA in question:
At the Diabetes Hands Foundation we have always seen IDF as a beacon that we’ve aligned our views and goals with, being as they are, a representative of people touched by diabetes worldwide. However, when I first saw this video I felt profoundly disappointed, as a patient and as a diabetes advocate. While I understand that they want to appeal to the general public and governments about the urgency of the diabetes epidemic, not only does the message in the video fail to do this (it is not directly targeted at those two targets -it is living in YouTube and propagating via social media): it conveys a very disempowering message, a message devoid of any kind of hope.
Diabetes does not kill: let’s please stop using this language! Complications from uncontrolled diabetes do (this is not my idea, but me amplifying what amounts to the gospel by Dr. Bill Polonsky). I invite our friends at IDF to reconsider this approach, thinking how people around the world feel when they are fist diagnosed with this condition: what if the message you first hear about it is that diabetes kills? Is that the first thing they want people to hear? Our anger about government inaction needs to be driven differently: painting diabetes rosey is far from what we are talking about, but fear-driving tactics don’t work either and can ultimately alienate a very important support platform IDF has built up over the years.
I hope IDF will listen to the voices of a number of advocates that have no raised their voices and asked them to reconsider this message: not only because it can been seen by people with diabetes, as well as the general public and governments that IDF is attempting to influence…
@askmanny we need this video to be seen by gen public and decision makers. We have different messages for different audiences.
— World Diabetes Day (@WDD) July 18, 2013
… but because it’s not true:
— Manny Hernandez (@askmanny) July 18, 2013