What Kony 2012 and Invisible Children Have Done Right
In a follow-up to the most successful and controversial viral internet campaign ever, Invisible Children released KONY 2012 Part II, Beyond Famous. The second Kony video has immediately drawn the attention of critics who call Invisible Children’s message “militant,” as well as the wider media which has picked apart the Invisible Children organization and the videos’ message.
Despite being heavily criticized both KONY 2012 videos have showed us that modern society is capable to focus on issues affecting the developing world.
Beyond Famous has been criticized for failing to depict the real and complex issues facing Ugandans. But, this might be too broad of a goal that the movies haven’t had space to address. Kony 2012 I and II did achieve the primary goal to make Joseph Kony “famous,” or recognized.
Frankly, I was among those who had no any information about existence of Lord’s Resistance Army and Joseph Kony — brutal man from remote Uganda who is leading notorious LRA. But the video has quickly grabbed my attention and I hectically started looking for further and detailed information. The critics do not take into account while accusing campaigners of being too shallow that the film is leveled at ordinary people of all ages who can easily understand the issue and would be willing to have a deeper look at it.
“This is a simplistic story fit for a four-year-old” said Firoze Manji, the editor of Pamzuka News, a pan-African news magazine. Though the second Kony video overwhelmingly fails to address Craig Valters concerns — another critic of Kony2012 researching the LRA at London School of Economics — yet none of them has proposed a reasonable solution to tackle the “complex” issue which goes beyond the capture of Kony.
It sounds absurd to cover the complexity of the problem in 30-minute film. “Invisible children” which has become a viral sensation is actually aimed to raise awareness and make people get involved in international issues; it should not be seen as a product to solve all problems around the LRA.
Claiming that the film humiliates Africans while portraying white people, especially Americans, as saviors is nothing more than a dividing mechanism. The mission is to fight for justice and bring people together as a whole nation of our planet.
Invisible Children has shed light on an almost a forgotten or unknown problem. Who knows, maybe this would be the first ever campaign driven by virtual activists that will have significant results.