Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kony 2012

Do you know the name of the man who has kidnapped over 30,000 children?

KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

Joseph Kony began his reign of terror in Uganda in 1987. While he's out of Uganda, he's still out there. Join Invisible Children in their #Kony2012 campaign to let the world know who Kony is, that we demand he be captured and stopped, and that aid to Ugandan troops be continued until this transpires.

Watch the video, it's a half-hour long but well-worth the watch. Then sign the pledge to help bring Kony to justice and learn about what you can do to help bring down a warlord.

International pressure is the only way we can help the children of Uganda and do what is right!

Edit 3/7/12: I think I posted this a little to quickly. Yes, I still think you should watch the film, but with a critical eye, and I wish I had done a little research into this because it's not so simple, and that's kind of what I felt when I watched it and checked out their website, but I went ahead and shared this anyway. I should have done a simple freaking wikipedia search, which has a whole little section on criticisms... but whatever, I think this is a good topic to talk about anyway.

Please check out the Visible Children tumblr, which is taking a well-placed critical stance on the Kony 2012 film. Please do read it yourself, but essentially what Visible Children says is that Invisible Children has had kind of wonky practices for years. Their support of military intervention is questionable, and their finances seem to support a lot of travel and filmmaking, instead of what probably a lot of people who are donating hope their money is going to. Invisible Children has good intentions, but good intentions are sometimes really bad (I recommend the film Good Fortune, it's on Netflix instant). Critiques about Invisible Children's top-down, great-white-hope tactics have been around for awhile, but it's much easier to publicize a trendy march or funds drive than to publicize a complex critique of a complex issue.

My problems with the film I let slide for this post, and I shouldn't have. It's a compelling film if you're into watching blonde Americans coax children into telling tearful stories for a video camera. Or if you're into heavy voice-over narration. Or into gimmicky child bits-- the filmmaker explains the war in Uganda to his 3 year old son with pictures of Joseph Kony and simplistic "he's a bad man" type descriptions. Or if you really like to watch montages of white college students holding their fists in the air and sprinting around putting up posters. Yeah, these things will affect you. But please read the Visible Children tumblr post, and there are several other posts as well that are helpful in decoding the complex issue of international relations, aid, and actually being helpful. What I say is... do watch the Kony 2012 film, but as the Visible Children tumblr says, "If you want to post about Joseph Kony’s crimes on Facebook, go ahead. But let’s keep it about Joseph Kony, not KONY 2012."

Of course you should know who Joseph Kony is. And it is true, if people care that he's still at large, there's a greater chance that he'll get taken down. But there are thousands of druglords and warlords, mobsters, gangsters and crime syndicates across the globe that are doing similarly destructive things that we as the public just don't know about. So educate yourself on the ones you can. Joseph Kony is a bad guy, but be critical of trendy organizations who say they have the answers.

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