So, Kony2012, the viral video produced by the organisation ‘Invisible Children” aimed ostenisbly at raising awareness of the need to capture the Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and bring him to justice has today gone mega being viewed millions of times. While the general public, particularly college kids in the US and Canada appear to have taken to the cause, the video has drawn criticism from within Africa, from NGO’s, from academics and from journalists.
In particular, the drastically simplified and often misleading tone of the piece (and of IC’s work in general) appears patronising and ill-informed. The focus of the campaign on raising awareness of Kony within the US and the rest of the world has also been questioned in light of the current situation in northern Uganda where the LRA has not operated since 2006 but which remains comparatively under-developed. Moreover, the transparency of IC’s finances and their support for the Ugandan and SPLA armed forces, themselves repeatedly accused of war crimes in the same region have raised questions over the organisations motives and judgement.
To read fuller criticism of the IC’s approach:
So what do you think about the campaign?
For further reading on the LRA see: T. Allen and K. Vlassenroot, The Lord’s Resistance Army: Myth and Reality (London, 2010)