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And so, 2012 came and went and Joseph Kony was never captured. Weapons and troops were deployed, politicians and celebrities from Europe and the US made statements and offered their public support to the campaign launched by the Invisible Children organisation, which featured one of the most popular films of the year, Kony2012 , and yet, Kony somehow managed to remain at large.
Nari Ward, Third World Bank 6×6, 2010 Now that the progressing phases of #Kony2012 (endorsement, backlash , Despite a vast number of takedowns, the video’s sheer arrogance tempts one to spend at least a couple grafs deconstructing it (I mean, note how IC’s Jason Russell uses his four-year old as a metonym: By speaking to a child about Kony’s evils he is literally treating us, his audience, like children!). But I will demur. backlash-to-the-backlash , It should shock no one that Kristof was a #Kony endorser, as he portrays the same type of arguments — as I note at TNI .
Kampala, Uganda - From Kampala, the Kony 2012 hysteria was easy to miss. I'm not on Facebook or Twitter. I don't watch YouTube and the Ugandan papers didn't pick up the story for several days. But what I could not avoid were the hundreds of emails from friends, colleagues, and students in the US about the video by Invisible Children and the massive online response to it. I have not watched the video. As someone who has worked in northern Uganda and researched the war there for more than a decade, much of it with a local human rights organisation based in Gulu, the Invisible Children organisation and their videos have often left me infuriated - I remember the sleepless nights after I watched their "Rough Cut" film for the first time with a group of students, after which I tried to explain to the audience what was wrong with the film while on stage with one of the filmmakers.
Editor’s Note: We at The CIHA Blog thank you for your interest in our post critiquing the Kony 2012 campaign, which has received thousands of hits and was also picked up by several media outlets. Adam Branch, writing from Kampala, just sent us a slightly revised update, posted below, that includes the syllabus for his class on the conflict (we also include a link to the original post ). Our In The News section links to numerous additional articles on this issue, as well as to sources on the impact of US military collaboration with East African nations. We also want to second Adam’s query about whether it is best to ignore this type of campaign.
Click here to see photos of the evolution of the LRA. Thanks to an incredibly effective social media effort, #StopKony is trending on Twitter today. The campaign coincides with a new awareness-raising documentary by the group Invisible Children.
Two LRA commanders have been removed from the battlefield, Maj. Gen.
New York, NY - Only two weeks ago, Ugandan papers carried front-page reports from the highly respected Social Science Research Council of New York, accusing the Ugandan army of atrocities against civilians in the Central African Republic while on a mission to fight Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The army denied the allegations. Many in the civilian population however, especially in the north, were sceptical of the denial. Like all victims, they have long and enduring memories. The adult population recalls the brutal government-directed counterinsurgency campaign, beginning in 1986, which evolved into Operation North, the first big operation in the country that people talk about as massively destructive for civilians, and which created the conditions that gave rise to the LRA of Joseph Kony and, before it, the Holy Spirit Movement of Alice Lakwena.
Although the attention spike and mainstream media attention on #Kony2012 has receded, not least thanks to Jason ‘Radical’ Russell’s own brush with infamy , the implications of muscular-liberalism-as-social-media-experiment continue to unfold. My feed at least continues to be peppered with anger towards Invisible Children from informed activists and scholars (although Norbert Mao, for one, takes a much more positive view and Jason Stearns makes a few qualifications of the anti-case worth reading ). On Saturday, CEO Ben Keesey and ‘Director of Ideas Development’ Jedidiah Jenkins (formerly ‘Director of Ideology’: yes, really ) released a short teaser video promising a sequel to #Kony2012 and declaring that the campaign was “working”.
If we are going to interfere in the lives of others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement. Left, Invisible Children's Jason Russell. Right, a protest leader in Lagos, Nigeria / Facebook, AP
It is quite possible that there remains nothing new to say about Kony2012. This thirty-minute video, narrated by Jason Russell, co-founder of the non-profit organization Invisible Children, aims to rally mass awareness and support for the campaign to capture Joseph Kony, leader of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). But Kony2012 is, after all, the gift that keeps on giving. Its tally includes an unprecedented humanitarian social media coup with close to ninety million YouTube views, a mind-boggling number of (re)tweets, and various Facebook-related milestones. It has generated comparable measures of support for and backlash against it, copious analyses of both, and even analyses of these analyses. According to its supporters, Kony2012 may be a giant leap towards rallying the youth of the United States to seize their asserted destiny as global agents of change, in this case, by bringing an end to the horrors wrought by the LRA in central Africa.
In 2006, I flew with a group of journalists and United Nations officials to a remote village in Garamba National Park in eastern Congo, just on other side of the South Sudan border, for a meeting with Joseph Kony and the leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The meeting was to be held in a designated staging ground – a neutral space, deep in the forest, created by the UN as part of yet another protracted peace agreement between Kony and the Ugandan government. When we arrived, dozens of heavily armed LRA soldiers emerged from the forest and took their places among the stacks of rotting food that had been delivered to the clearing as an enticement and sign of goodwill. The LRA soldiers, dressed in camouflage pants and European football jerseys, spoke to no one and refused any attempt to address them.
(Updated with additions, March 10, 2012. Here's a Twitter list , so you can follow all of the African writers mentioned in this post who are on Twitter.) The internets are all a-flutter with reactions to Kony 2012 , a high-velocity viral fundraising campaign created by the " rebel soul dream evangelists " at Invisible Children to "raise awareness" about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and child soldiers. As noted in my previous post here on Boing Boing , the project has many critics.
Over the last few days millions of people have thronged to watch a video put together by the California based NGO and media company Invisible Children about one of the world’s most notorious criminals, Joseph Kony. Since the 30 minute video went up, supporters of the company have flooded twitter and facebook promoting the capture of Mr. Kony.
TMS Ruge , a Ugandan social entrepreneur, is a co-founder of Project Diaspora, which mobilizes the African diaspora to take an active role in Africa’s development. Social media is a fantastic tool for mobilizing the grass roots. President Obama showed the promise of this medium during his campaign, and the technology has come a long way since 2008. The Arab Spring showed us what the grass roots could do with it. In both cases, the audience had a stake in the conversation. American citizens built up a presidential candidate.
Traduzido para o Português por Natália Mazotte e Bruno Serman This Monday, March 5th, the advocacy organization Invisible Children released a 30 minute video titled “ Kony 2012 “. The goal of the video is to raise awareness of Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group, a wanted war criminal, in the hopes of bringing him to justice.