March 7th, 2012

Context for the Kony 2012 Campaign

Have you seen the recent documentary produced by the non-profit group Invisible Children? It is making the rounds on the Web and social networks and has prompted various celebrities, including Justin Beiber and Zoey Dechanel, to tweet about Joseph Kony and his LRA militia in Uganda.

Back in November, we published an article addressing the U.S. intervention in Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army. The authors challenged many assumptions put forward by advocacy groups, including Invisible Children:

During the past decade, U.S.-based activists concerned about the LRA have successfully, if quietly, pressured the George W. Bush and Obama administrations to take a side in the fight between the LRA and the Ugandan government. Among the most influential of advocacy groups focusing specifically on the LRA are the Enough project, the Resolve campaign, the Canadian-based group GuluWalk, and the media-oriented group Invisible Children… In their campaigns, such organizations have manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.

Several organizations, including the Tumblr account Visible Children, have cited this article as a reason to be wary of the tactics employed by Invisible Children.

The full video produced by Invisible Children can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc

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  20. allanmjoseph reblogged this from missflower and added:
    I can’t overstate the importance of understanding this viral video in context.
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    Good point, I was checking out the F/S myself and thought they seemed quite a healthy organisation. All the same I’m...
  25. alternrg reblogged this from foreignaffairsmagazine and added:
    38 percent for program expenses is awfully low however I wonder why the funding spent on the documentaries wouldn’t...
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