Invisible Children’s human rights campaign on raising awareness about Joseph Kony’s, the leader of LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), horrible ongoing injustices in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
Incredible storytelling. What does this mean for all the millions who have viewed the campaign video? Praying for peace, spreading more awareness, donating money, getting the LRA themselves? Applying the knowledge gained is most challenging for a viral message so powerful. The pre-awareness is both exciting and quite scary. What will that April 20th, 2012, a month from now, do that the campaign isn’t already doing? The KONY campaign release isn’t superhero armor for youth in N. Uganda, DRC, CAR right now. Time is of the essence. Prayers are with those in the midst of turmoil in the Congo and surrounding areas.
“He is not fighting for any cause, but only to maintain his power.” - On Kony, the #1 most-wanted on International Criminal Court’s list.
Goal: Arresting Joseph Kony
(= Seizing the fear, hurt, wrong he instills in children and families)
The film’s intro and campaign rollout strategy reflect on the power of social media. A grassroots energy set the tempo early in the film: “Because we couldn’t wait for institutions or governments to step in, we did it ourselves” is stated before the installing of the Early Warning Radio Network clip (real time updates on surrounding rebel activity). The infographic from this article that shows Twitter usage per African country came to mind (Uganda didn’t place) while continuing to watch. We saw the power of real time info shared by global “digital activists” during Egypt and Libya’s revolutions. The digital luxury of social media lacks in Uganda so mass communication methods like the EARN is a good solution for spreading news, as long as the control of is in the right hands.
I really hope the campaign is spreading pro-active knowledge (see site for a few programs) within LRA infested areas, just as much as worldwide. Full transparency for those actually in the midst of the civil unrest is crucial, to provide hope and clarity through a time of transition. Especially for the youth, who have been most effected and may not know what better there is, like when Jacob spoke about the favoring of death vs. living at a certain point in his life.
Further in the film, as the movement grew, a highlight was the U.S. government signing off on “the placing of U.S. ‘armed forces’ (in Uganda)”. Obama wrote, “To provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Konty from the battlefield”. And “(This is) not putting Americans in combat” was shared on Maddow’s show after Obama’s policy extension… In other words, keeping death counts as low as possible.
Curious to see Kony’s reaction to his rise in “popularity”. Curious to see how influential this global campaign is when it comes to arresting others on the ICC list and the politics in supporting controversial countries. Curious to see how Invisible Children supports north Ugandan region post-Kony capture. Curious about how and if the 20 ‘culture changers’ and 12 politicians will put an individual spin on the Kony campaigning (Limbaugh, Rihanna, Tebow…).
On a positive note, this campaign is bigger than the LRA, than Kony. It’s about what to do with the empathy within us, for what we care passionately abt. I learned much from this short film. Again, curious, to see what empathic results come out of this campaign. #KONY2012
(video via invisiblechildren.com)