Kony 2012

Many of you have probably seen or at least heard about the film Kony 2012 which has been trending on twitter and making the rounds on facebook.  It seeks to motivate people to speak out against the Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony and bring him to justice for the atrocities and suffering he has imposed upon Ugandan  people and children.  The film has spread virally and seems to be especially directed at, and disseminated by 18-22 year olds.  Intially at least, it appears to have achieved its objective to publicize Kony as a war criminal in the hopes that this publicity will bring him to justice and presumably end the suffering of those in Uganda.  But there has also been a lot of criticism associated with the film.  See this video and this article.  Is it possible that this film does more harm than good?  Does it represent a neo-colonial style of thinking? I am curious to know your thoughts.

Update: a poignant picture


37 responses to “Kony 2012

  1. I have to admit, when I saw the Kony film it moved me. After watching this video and reading the article, as well as other articles I have come across, I do have a different opinion than I previously had. The film seems to assume that the Ugandan people are incapable of protecting themselves. I think this does represent a neo-colonialism style of thinking in part: that the U.S. needs to exude its presence on another country for Kony to be caught. I think that often times people in western countries feel that they have to step in because the people of that country, are unable to help themselves. I don’t think that is true, I think that those whose lives are affected are able to fight for themselves. Sometimes technology and money are needed, but people use what they have available. I don’t think that the Kony film will do more harm than good. It is always good to be aware of what is going on all over.I think the same use of technology that made this film is giving a voice to others (the video we watched) that also want to be heard and can tell their own stories.

    • I agree, that many times people get too wrapped up in their own lives to see all the things that are going on around them, or around the world. It would be shameful if our own issues were the sole interest in our lives; but I cannot say with any real distinction that the good of a “message,” from Invisible Children could outweigh the bad. I understand the idea that making note of problems that are going on is a way to shed light upon it; but a message that is so misconstrued, and written in such a way as to simply light a fire for an issue with no real information about the current standings is in a word, reckless.

    • Sue-
      I agree with you. There is something about the film that does leave you to believe that it is neo-capitalism thinking. But it is something that we should at least be aware of. I think that people will believe what they want to believe. The fact the the US has gotten involved really speaks volumes. I do not feel that just because we have gotten involved means that the Ugandan army is not capable, but sometimes help and technology is just what is needed.

  2. I was skeptical of the Kony2012 video when I first saw it for a few reasons. Firstly, the video seemed too scripted to me. It was more than a just a public awareness message. It seemed too professionally produced. The hipster dad, the adorable child’s opinion, the urgency and aim of the message, the proposed timeline, all made me think, “what the heck is going on here?” Secondly, I had listened to a program on NPR several years ago about this very guy (Kony). They certainly outlined all of the things in the Kony2012 video, as well as the atrocities of that General Butt-Naked guy, and nobody was batting an eyelash back then, so why now? The atrocities in Darfur haven’t received this type of attention. I think people in the West are generally aware of these things, but they may not be aware of the historical roots of the problem, or feel that there is anything that they could do about it anyway. In light of domestic problems, it just sort of becomes out of sight, out of mind. So, given Darfur, and Rwanda, and lots of other places that have been in the news, and portrayed in movies, why is this issue especially urgent? The nail that sealed the coffin for me was the psychotic episode that the hipster dad experienced last week. I couldn’t take it seriously after that.

    Of course rival divisions exist throughout Africa, and many of them were created by Western colonial powers as a divide and rule policy. This way they can legitimize their presence. When the British carved out Uganda, they just drew an arbitrary border around a bunch of different tribes, and then intentionally assigned them different roles and statuses. The Bantu in the south were given better education and economic advantages, while the tribes of the north were selected for military and police service. So any divisions that exist in Uganda, I want to call a British problem. That’s not to say that everyone, including the U.S., isn’t still scrambling for Africa to this day, or is without blame.

    The idea that the Africans can’t govern themselves, and that they must be raised up to be educated, capitalist, Christian, consumers is tantamount to social Darwinism, which we have learned is an outdated mode of thought. Had they been left to develop their own societies, I don’t doubt that there would be natural divisions and conflicts that occur anyway through native population growth, but that would be their problem. Unfortunately, the majority of their problems are now our problems, because we (the West) put together the framework that caused the problems to begin with.

    If the Kony film is a genuine heart-felt plea to put an end to this particular atrocity, then I don’t know as if additional western military boots on the ground would do much good, considering the fact that so much of this is old footage, and the issue is already being addressed. If he is brought to justice, then what? On to the next warlord? Some good has been done I guess, but the divisions remain. If the film was part of a conspiracy to legitimize a military presence, and reinforce western control in Africa, then it only serves to maintain the colonial framework, and the inevitable conflicts that exist as a result. In this sense, I would say that it is doing more harm than good.

  3. When I watched Kony 2012 I felt bad for the people involved and believed more needed to be done about Joseph Kony’s capture. But after reading the article and watching the video I felt much differently. They both made me realize that this is some sort of gimmick, or way for some people (P. Diddy) to feel like they are making a difference just by retweeting the video. If this is such an atrocity, why wasn’t a video made 10 years ago when Kony was at his worse? Why all of a sudden now?

    What some of these people don’t realize is that this video is putting pressure on our military to do even more even though we are already involved. Our military is already spending billions of dollars on other things and our government is too in debt to waste any more. There are already African authorities that are involved in the manhunt, so why should our government waste money to “join the cause?”

    The blogger’s video also made me realize how some people from the western culture feel that people in Africa are helpless, and that they need the help from western civilization. I do not believe the people of Africa are helpless and can only survive with our help. People have been living in Africa for thousands and thousands of years, without any help from the U.S., so why do they need us so badly now?

  4. Given how messed up some African countries are, i’m curious as to why the situation in Uganda is getting so much attention. Like the picture says there are plenty mass murdering warlords in Africa so why is this one getting attention? Maybe its the power of social media that’s allowed this issue to become so widely known. This whole thing does strike me as having a neo-colonial sentiment. Then again there have been many crisis in Africa where the west has just sat on its hands ( Rwanda, Durfur, etc) what makes this time different?

  5. I am back and fourth on this. I this this issue is obviosuly terrible and when the creater of this brings his own child into the video really saddens me because I have a son who is around the same age as him. For me to think about my child being taken and then taught to kill makes me boil, but at the same time this exploitment i feel is unrealistic and I want to know what the actual numbers are on these kidnappings and when these have occured. Too many people jump without knowing what is below them. Invisible Children is making so much money from this…but really…where is the money going? I am all for saving children but at the same time after reading that Kony actually could be dead makes me feel like for the U.S to spend money on this would be pointless. I am all for helping others but what about helping our own country, what about making sure husbands and wifes (SOLDIERS) that are coming home from this war that has lasted too long who are now injured and now handicapped for life will be taken care of.

    • Kate-
      I felt the same way, especially now that you sais it. It is sad to see Jason bring his some into the video. I am torn on whether to believe that it is propaganda or not. I want to believe that it is not. For me I feel that reason that this war lord from Africa is getting so much attention is because of Jason and the promise that he made to Jacob. I want to believe that Jason felt so strongly that he said he would do anyting to help make sure that Kony is caught. I think that the US being incvolved could really make a difference but also could make people think why now. There has always been similar situations in Arfica and we have never gotten involved, which you had pointed out. To me I feel that in this case we did not know about and because now there is being light shed on it and people are being made aware they want to help this time.

  6. I don’t believe that the film does more harm than good. This movie was created to generate public awareness about an issue the producer felt very strongly about. It may to some people but once you sit down and watch it you will see that it was made to teach people about the violence that goes on in other parts of the world. It was a very sad video, but also very informational because it was more of a scripted documentary. It was very inspirational to show people that everyone in the world has dreams and that people lives are affected in very different ways depending on your environment. I would agree that everything should be done to stop the violence in Uganda and put an end to Joseph Konys violent kidnappings and killings.
    I think that it does represent a neo-colonial style of thinking because when these killing and kidnapping are outside of the county that we live in. I think that the director wants people to go out of their way and have a strong belief like him on this subject. The video point out that everyone no matter if you are living in Africa or anywhere in the world, needs to find out about Kony and help to stop him. I do believe that it is important to stop war all over the world, but it’s just too hard and unsafe for the United States to step in and help stop the violence in Uganda. I do feel like people in Uganda need the help and cannot stop the violence themselves, but it would just be too hard for them to receive help from outside their country.

    • I also agree that this video seemed someone scripted. But it still moved me just the same, it opened my eyes to a person that I had never even heard of before. I also agree that we spend too much of our countries money and military efforts in foreign countries, but I have a soft spot for these children and at least in my heart I feel that this is at least a good cause (unlike some of our other efforts).

  7. I had never heard of Joseph Kony before watching this video. What this man is doing to CHILDREN is a horrible thing. While I do believe it represents a neo-colonial style of thinking I do believe that this is an important message that needs to be heard. Many in this blog have talked about the people of Africa helping themselves and us not stepping in, I do agree to a point. I think that Americans step into too many situations where people don’t want our help and that is a mistake. These are children and are helpless to the situation, who are we to say that we will not help them because they do not live in our country. If this group wants to raise money for technology and support for these children, than I say go for it. This video could only do good in making people aware of what is going on in other countries and not just want is happening in their own little worlds.

  8. I would definitely agree that the video Invisible Children represents neocolonialism. It is very interesting conflict, in terms of supporters of Stop Kony 2012, and those who are not. In my opinion, it definitely seems to point out just what it needs to in order to scare or sadden people into action. After reading the article it is very clear that the creators of Invisible Children, have begun some kind of “trend,” or “fad,” with their actions. In essence, I do see it as an attempt to make notice of the situation, but has no grasp on the entirety of the history, and what has really happened.

    I simply cannot look at this film and see that it has any sort of serious backing in the telling of all the tragedies. Just looking at the website that has been created out of it, and viewing the contents of the “Invisible Children Store,” shows something called a “Kony 2012 Action Kit,” which reads; “People will think you’re an advocate of awesome. Everything you’ll need to take part in our KONY 2012 campaign is included in this kit: an official campaign. + T-shirt + KONY bracelet + Action guide + Stickers + Button + Posters.” I think it is safe to say the message they claim was all they were trying to put out, has gained a little bit more profit than admitted. And so it does seem quite true, the only purpose of this video was to boost interest IN Invisible Children, and not in the conflicts of Uganda.

    • Interesting to hear that there is a KONY action kit. I wonder if all the profits from that are going to the children that have suffered at Kony’s hands?? That would make it seem a bit more altruistic.

  9. I’m thankful for the videos about Kony 2012 because I’ve heard bits and pieces about this before but I’ve been so busy with work and school that I never really took the time to learn about the situation. Being a mom and hearing Jacob’s story made me cry. I would love to mutilate Joseph Kony with my bare hands in 2012 and I’m usually for war but with all we have been through as a country I really don’t think war is the answer. We definitely don’t need to invade Uganda the way we went in to Iraq. I do support our 100 soldiers that are supposedly there, I think it’s important to show America’s support on the issue. I don’t think this video does more harm than good. I think that it will only do good to help the United States Military that is in Uganda feel good about being there and help them be reminded of all of the support they have back home.

    I don’t think this is necessarily neo colonialism because we are only there to “capture” one guy and bring him to justice. It’s more of a man hunt than us trying to inflict anything on their country our culture and we certainly are not trying to take over their resources. This is a horrible person and we would only be helping the Ugandan people fight their battle against him and set their children free. The video definitely makes me want to go over there though and do whatever I could to be helpful (like mutilating Joseph Kony’s ugly face with my bare hands).

  10. The Movie Kony 2012 is incredibly heart touching one. According to the movie, I considered the movie producer, Jason Russel a hero for his ongoing fight for justice and for all the good work he did in Uganda despite color, religion, culture and race. He has been successful in grabbing the attention of millions on the sad story of Northern Uganda; furthermore, he was able to get the motivation and support from thousands of people to stop the criminal Joseph Kony. Besides the fact that the movie has the power to stir anybody’s heart, I needed to search for more information to decide if the movie has a possibility to do more harm than good. Then, I was able to hear the speech of the Uganda Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi in response to the Kony 2012 movie and the responses of some Uganda people on the Kony 2012 movie.
    Jason Russel made the movie Kony 2012 with the intention to capture the notorious criminal Joseph Kony in 2012 and bring him to trial for all the suffering he made to children. Jason believes that if the Uganda military gets the technology and training to track Kony in the gigantic jungle, then he can be captured. For this to take place, Jason is making aware of the need to arrest the number one wanted criminal by ICC (International Criminal Court). Despite the fact that Kony 2012 movie is making people aware of the sufferings Kony has been making to thousands of children, the movie lacks different things.
    First, the movie lacks to show the current situation of the Uganda people. According to the Uganda prime minister, Amama Mbabazi, Kony and the LRA group were defeated by the Uganda government in 2006; therefore, Kony is not in Uganda any more. The prime Minister believes Kony is in Central Africa or in the Republic of Congo. The prime Minister stated that Kony has only couple of hundred followers presently and the Uganda government including its partners has been trying to hunt Kony and bring him to justice. The prime minister also added that there is no conflict in Uganda currently and the Uganda government is working in regenerating Northern Uganda which was suffered by Kony and the LRA group.
    Second the Kony 2012 campaign is depowering the voice of the Uganda people and their partners in capturing the criminal. The movie makes the Ugandan government and the neighboring countries voices less and hopeless without westerners. For me, this leaves wrong impression on the history of the Uganda people and neighboring countries as the movies has been watched by millions of people worldwide. And people might not watch the other side of the Ugandan story. It is like making outsiders to be a hero to rescuing African children while local initiatives already have done a lot.
    Third, the Kony 2012 movie goal is to capture the notorious criminal and bring him to justice. While bringing criminal to justice is the right and right thing to do, at the same time the target should be to stop followers of Kony too, to stop rebellions to end suffering of innocent people. I mean it is not only about capturing one guy.
    Generally, I think the movie might do more harm than good for different reasons. First, Joseph Kony is not in Uganda; therefore, sending US military to Uganda might be a distraction of the peaceful life the Uganda civil people since there is no conflict in Uganda currently according to the Prime Minister, and Uganda and its partners are still working in hunting of this wanted criminal.
    Second, sending US military to Uganda while situations are improved and the effort of the Uganda government besides bringing Joseph Kony to justice is, regenerating the suffered Northern Uganda due to Kony and the LRA group, makes me think what is the urgency to capture Kony? Why not 10 years ago when sufferings were a lot? The Uganda government and its partners already did great work so I am afraid it will be like taking the credit of the African People. And it also makes me to worry civil people might be victims while the focus is to capture Kony with short time with the help of technology. For me the movie represents a neocolonial style of thinking because it sounds like the movie uses globalization to capture the criminal and Outsiders try to be in charge of ending the suffering of innocent people in Uganda while the Uganda government and other African Countries have been doing a lot on this case.

    • Melissa Anderson

      Kidest, you brought up a lot of great points regarding the movie. I definitely agree that not just Kony, but Kony’s followers as well should be stopped. His followers could easily take his place if he was gone, and the main goal should be the end of suffering in that area. I’m glad you noted that he might not even be in Uganda anymore. I think the video should have put less emphasis on Uganda, and instead more clearly stated that he’s probably in a different part of Africa now. If politicians are misinformed as to his locations, troops and efforts could be concentrated in the wrong areas. At least people are becoming aware of the problem, but hopefully the efforts are directed in a positive way, and also don’t take away from the progress the African people have already made.

    • KIdest, I think what you said about the voice of the Ugandan people being by this movie is a big point. It seems to me that sometimes when the western countries come in to help, it can be Depowering and Demeaning to those people that are still there (and have been working to right the wrongs) when the western countries leave.

    • Kidest, you have made a great point in your coment about the Ugandan people’s voice being depowered by this movie. I think sometimes when the western countries come in to “help” , the real heros (the people that live there and work to right the wrongs) are Depowered and Demeaned.

  11. Kekeli Christianson

    After watching the Kony 2012 video, I felt so angry and mortified that such a person exist in this world and continues to abduct and torture innocent children just for his zeal to obtained and maintain power. I do agree that the video of the invisible children represent neocolonialism but so is any other organizations out there advocating for children from third world countries. Many nonprofits organizations are founded and funded by westerners in the hopes of bringing about positives changes within the lives of the victims facing social dilemma. The fact that the Rwandan government is not doing anything about this issue and trying to arrest this monstrous man is very appalling to me. The other most frustrating fact is that This Kony commander is actually put on the number 1 wanted list of criminals in the international court for crimes committed against humanity. So was Bin ladden and he was killed by the mutual collaboration within nations of pakistan, afghanistan and the united states. I am not saying that the united should always be involved in cases of other nations but then why go to Iraq and remove dictators and tyrans for the sake of establishing democracy when the people do not ask for it. For the case of the invisible children, I do think that it is our duty to try and help these children as a crime against humanity is being committed in a different part of the world. many nations should pay attention to this issue and try to come up with a solution to resolve it. Many sanctions took place against the South African govermnent during the fight against apartheid in 1990 so why not do the same now?
    I believe that the video was highly scripped and not much information where given regarding the issue but that’s not important because as long as someone like kony is out there he should be stopped.

  12. Kekeli Christianson

    After watching the video invisible children, I was angry and appaled to think that such a person exist in this world that we live in. knowing that this monster abduct and torture innocent children for the sole purpose to abtain and maintain his power is truly devasting. the most appalling thing in all this is the fact that the Rwandan government is not saying anything at all about this issue. if not the government what about the international court who has placed kony on the list of number 1 most wanted criminals who have committed crimes against humanity. Let’s not forget that Bin Laden was once placed there but he was killed with the collaboration of nations of pakistan, afghanistan and the united states. I’m not saying that the united states should be involved in helping other countries at all times, but why then save some and let some perish. why go to Iraq to remove a dictator and a tyrant for the purpose of establishing democracy when the people don’t want it. why destroy terrorism in iraq and let the same crime of terrorrism against these innocent children in Rwanda persist. All I’m trying to say is that this issue is very important and I think that all nation should pay a close attention to it and try to come up with a resolution. I do believe that the video is highly scripted and needed more information regarding the issue at hand which sort of represent a neocolonialism. But so are many other organizations. Many non profits organizations are founded and funded by the westerners whose purpose is to provide hope for the hopeless especially in third world countries where so many are victims of social dilemmas.
    I remember before when many sanctions were put on the South African government regarding the fight against apartheid. why not do the same now? I know many questions are asked regarding the kony issue as the video was poorly done and scripted and lacked many information but that is not the point because as long there is someone like Kony out there he should be stopped.

    • Melissa Anderson

      I do agree as well that the video could have used a little more information, and at times seemed to have neo-colonial thinking. I think it’s important to have criticism on these types of subjects so people can look at the situation from all different angles. It can help people form more educated opinions as well. All of the information on this subject, for or against the Invisible Children’s campaign style, seems to at least agree that Joseph Kony is guilty and should in some way or another be held accountable for his actions. The criticism has also reminded me that it’s important to remember the people in Africa who have already been taking actions against Kony and other warlords, but may be overshadowed with the US involvement.

    • Kekeli, I see where you are trying to bring up your points on why should America choose to take out one leader and get involved with a war and not another, but if you start to look at some of the differences you can see why America chooses some battles over others. Bin Laden being an example…Here was a man involved in terrorist attacks against the US and continuing to plot against our country. Lives were lost because of his terrorist attacks and it was decided that in the best interest of our country and preserving the future lives of America, to engage in his capture. So in a situation such as this, there is a gain/loss for America making it justifiable to launch the forces needed for his capture. Compare that to something such as capturing Kony. Yes, what Kony has done over the years is ethically and morally wrong to many people and capturing him could be seen as justifiable, but justifiable to who? The people of Uganda? Certainly would be reasonable to assume. American government could view it as unethical and against morals, yet still not want to become actively involved for the mere reason that there is no loss/gain against America. Does Kony have a direct impact to Americans physical safety and well-being? Could be viewed by the government that he does not, therefore making American involvement of his capture and potential for war unjustifiable. It can seem like a twisted system but yet understandable on some levels.

  13. Lisa Huibregtse

    This documentry outlines a serious problem facing Uganda. Besides the content which was powerful and moving, the idea that people and the internet can be such a monumental tool for good is something that stood out to me. Seeing this many people come together for something besides self interest is powerful to experience and be a part of.

  14. I do not think that Kony 2012 in any way represents a neo-colonial style of thinking. I don’t believe that America joined the cause to control the country or any resources that the country may have. I also don’t think that America would have responded to this issue at all had it not been for the Kony 2012 campaign. I think that it would be socially irresponsible for people to wait and see “if the Ugandan people can protect themselves”. So what if they can. Any human being that loves humanity would most certainly be willing to speak out against Kony and assist the Invisible Children in any way that they can!

  15. Before reading the article and watching the video I was hesitant. This campaign and situation is plastered everywhere, and it seems like something which might be endless in capturing him. After reading and viewing the materials-it enlightens the viewer on a serious topic occuring, and as a viewer you want to contribute in any way you can.
    The statement “The campaign is just another bad solution to a more difficult problem” is false in my eyes. For people like P.Diddy and the average Joe blo, this gives us somewhat an opportunity to make change and awareness which is of high importance for the capability to make a difference. The kony campaign has exploded from tweets, facebook, and social media. With this geared toward young college kids is a brilliant idea. A large majority of this population lives part of their lives on twitter, facebook, & other social networking sites.
    The possibility to share this message through this medium has tremendous advantages. Even if the message is spread to one person it makes a difference. By raising awareness it enlightens the person on what’s going on, and sparks their interest for what else they can do to help the situation. Change of a certain situation happens when there is awareness in the community. When this situation is global everyone can do their part in helping with the campaign-even if it’s just one click. Posting online to bring awareness of the kony campaign may or may not solve the problem in capturing him, but one tweet may be the first step in doing so.

    • Melissa Anderson

      I also agree that it’s not a bad solution to a more difficult problem. While I do think the problem has a deeper history than the video portrays, Kony is a wanted man for crimes he’s committed for years. It’s a bit refreshing to have social media focus on a worldly problem instead of what people are wearing and who’s married to who. Regardless of what people think of the Invisible Children organization, they have raised awareness of a problem and people are talking about it everywhere. Maybe the solution Jason Russell proposed won’t work, but perhaps a better solution will be created because of the awareness of the problem.

  16. RE: Amalia G.: in your post “I understand the idea that making note of problems that are going on is a way to shed light upon it; but a message that is so misconstrued, and written in such a way as to simply light a fire for an issue with no real information about the current standings is in a word, reckless.” I believe the video an article are neocolonialism. There is definitely going to be spaces void of us not knowing the real message occuring. It’s such a tragic happening which blew my mind after watching the video. It’s sad to think something like this happened, but I think the kony campaign is something we can do to spread awareness of this, and show our support-even if it is an indirect way by clicking “repost.”

  17. Melissa Anderson

    It was quite interesting watching the video and reading/watching the criticism for it. I can see where both sides are coming from and can see valid points from each side. Joseph Kony has done terrible things for many years, and people should know about him and other warlords. On the other hand, I can see how Africans feel belittled by campaign for his arrest and the implications that they don’t have a voice against such crimes in their countries. I can also see how the video left out a lot of history on the matters in Uganda, which I’m assuming was an attempt to make the situation easier for people to understand. Additionally, I can see how the video isn’t 100% up-to-date on the epicenter of the problem at the moment.
    I do see shades of the neo-colonial style thinking. I think some people getting involved with this cause do have the underlying thought that people in Africa can’t help themselves and the only solution is from a strong western country. This can be or can lead to chauvinism. However, I also think that there are plenty of people involved in this cause that don’t have that belief at all.
    Overall, I don’t think this film does more harm than good. Many people around the world are now aware of the warlord problem in Africa thanks to the video. We shouldn’t live in a sheltered world not knowing about world problems, but again, we also shouldn’t live in a world where we think we’re superior to other countries. Kony should be held accountable for his actions, whether they are occurring right now or ten to twenty years ago. Along the way, we just need to remember that the people of Uganda and other African countries do have a voice and have been making a difference.

  18. The Joseph Kony article depict what happen in third world countries that experiences war or rebels activities. I am in favor of organizations such as the invisible children project used of media depiction to high light what individuals or groups are causing lives. I don’t care if the organizations that are bringing awareness to these arts are gaining some publicity from their effort. The fact of the mater is attention are being place on the subject and the world is responding to the call to bring these people to justice.

  19. This is actually the first time i have heard of the movement and seen the video. Before I watched the additional video of the Ugandian woman giving her thoughts, I found the video simplistic. I agreed with her that for the first 5 to 10 minutes I had no idea what this video was getting at but it was calling me to “action.” The video was so “documentary with an agenda.” It provided little fact and only played to emotions, which I think is indicative to the target audience. Youth don’t want to be trifled with actual knowledge and facts, they want to feel. Although I think it is a just end (finally capturing Kony), I agree with the critcism that KONY2012 is simplifying the issue and taking the abilities of the effected countries out of the equation. It reminded me of the phrase “give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” I do find it interesting that the creator/narrator did seem to make himself out to be the hero coming the save the Ugandians. Whether this video will do more harm than good, I think only time will tell. I think there are flaws but I think it is an issue that needs to be known. I don’t believe that American involvement is the end all be all. The video has faint echoes of neo-colonialism albeit unintentional. I can tell that colonialism and forcing American ideals on Africa would be the last thing the creators of KONY2012 would want. It would be something they would mount a campaign to stop.

  20. Daniel Letourn

    I had to watch this video a couple of different times in order for the context of the matter to fully develop. My opinion for this problem is that it is an Africa problem. Meaning, Africa has a long history of extreme violence that, at times, requires outside intervention. While I have a great deal of respect for those that created this video in the hope to raise awareness. For it takes large amounts of courage to do what they have done. Concepts such as the 2012 is perfect, get those in the news to help promote awareness of the issue.

    Where my problem with the group is that they are only looking at Kony, not all of the other issues within Africa or even Western Africa. Republic of Congo has a long and extremely violent history. Had they tried to do what they did in Uganda in Congo, they most likely would not have been among the living. With that being said, the United Nations should be the ones making inroads to help Uganda and the region find Kony, not the US alone.

    Overall, it was encouraging to see a group of motivated people accomplish what they did and how they did it. Many of us could learn from them as to how to be proactive and stand for a cause.

  21. First of all, kudos to Jason Russell, the man behind the film, for following through with what he believes in. So many people feel strongly about world issues, yet sit on their couch and do nothing to participate or become involved in resolving the issue. It is easier to sit and do nothing and hope someone else will just do the work.

    Personally I have very mixed feelings over this issue. What Kony is doing to the people in Uganda stirs up so much ethical and moral controversy that part of me sees why he should be arrested and punished for what he does. Yet another part of me is very leery over what extent forces should go to carry out the arrest. While my heart and sympathy goes out to the children being abducted and forced into Kony’s demise, it is hard to fully support the motion for America to actively participate in his capture when right here in our own country we have so many of our own issues that do not get addressed.

    And I do agree that if you want something to be done, and active approach is needed and it needs to be heard. Russell is attempting this through word of mouth via modern technology. Eventually it will be heard across the nation and it will stir up controversy. I just feel America might want to be careful with what battles they become involved in. It makes me nervous that American soldiers have already been sent over seas to Uganda to help. I was glad to hear they are involved in the assistance of the Uganda army to help with intelligence and tactics rather than in direct combat. Just having troops there is already risking American lives over an issue that, in a way, does not have a direct impact on a loss or gain for America. Rather troops are in a potential hostile situation if Kony were to retaliate because we are meddling with his affairs. These troops have families, friends, and a life that means the world to others back home. Is the risk worth a potential loss? It’s so hard to say. Some may say yes and some may say no. Personally, after fighting in a war myself, it truly makes me reevaluate the risks involved and sacrifices made over some of these political issues.

    It is also hard to truly listen to Russell and stand by his motion because he has already shown that pressure can overtake one’s self. If the man behind the motion can’t even keep himself collected and instead lashes out in a psychotic episode in front of the public, gets arrested, and hospitalized for psychiatric care, how should I or any other person be expected to maintain a sensible well-being to follow through with an issue as big as Kony’s capture. Could you imagine what would happen if even one American soldier were to collapse under the pressure over in Uganda? It wouldn’t be a pretty situation and would only risk further potential harm the remaining American soldiers and the Uganda people.

    Despite Russell’s personal issues, he did bring up a good point…Where you live shouldn’t determine if you live. It’s just a matter of choosing wisely how involved you want to be in saving a life and at what cost.

  22. First off I am suprised and honestly a little ashamed that I have not herd of Joseph Kony before. I feel that a subject like this should have been headline news a long time ago. As far as what the film means to different people it is hard to control that. Do I think it is one sided, yes. Although I do not feel that Jason Russel had anything else in mind when making this film other than to get his message out and to make people aware of what Kony was doing. I feel that this is admirable, especially since this problem is so large. I am sure that when he made that promise to Jacob he did not know that he would be albe to move so many people and make people aware. I am quite touched to think that there are still poeple out there that want to make a difference is something that is this big. It just goes to show how someone who believes in something can really make a differnce on such a large scale. This is something that I want to keep aware of now. I really hope to see our city plastered with Kony 2012 materials on April 20th.

    • I am encouraged by your compassion and willingness to support! I agree that the motives and desires are admirable, and I am positive that IC truly truly longs to see Kony’s crimes stopped for good. This is a good desire and one worthy of support like any good intention: feeding the poor, protecting orphans, etc. The other article linked to has some very profound commentary on the scope of the real issues in Uganda dwarfing the Kony aspect, which as it turns out, Kony is quite famous in Africa already. I am very curious to see what happens on 4-20-2012. Will the hype have died down and fizzled out or will my block be pure red?

  23. Anthony Coffey

    I had heard of Kony 2012 before, due in part to a lot of people I know linking the video around. I can relate to the image provided, in how they describe it being linked all over a gaming website.(MMO-champion is a video game website I frequent, and I recall many Kony topics arising there around the time the video popped up on Youtube) I had not watched the video myself, because from an initial look all I could see was a propaganda film, notably in the title sounding like your typical election year slogan. Upon taking time to watch the video for this course, I feel like my instincts were right.

    What bothered me, and has been stated by others, is that the video takes too long to really discuss why we should hate Kony, only painting the image of him as an evil man, and the maker of the video explaining it to the child to try to keep his image very black and white. Upon the actual explanation of his crimes, I can agree that something needed/needs to be done, but the video glosses over the fact that stuff is being done. One constant argument that bothered me was that no one acknowledges his crime, while at the same time stating that he was at the top of the ICC most wanted list. Another problem was that even the video stated that he had moved on from Uganda, but still painted the bleak, helpless image of the country for events that happened several years ago, and that the country was actively recovering from.

    I do think the video shows some evidence of neo-colonialism, painting the US as the way to save a country that has been doing fine on its own to recover, as well as the fact that the countries in the area have been doing what they can to hunt Kony. The troops the US has there right now are doing nothing more than advising the countries own troops, and even if they were to be removed from the country, have done more than enough to give the natives of those countries a tactical edge to capture Kony, merely by instilling fear that outside countries may see him for his crimes.

    Overall, Kony’s crimes are in the past compared to many other issues the world deals with now. It is not our position to need to police all of the criminals in the world, especially in this case where the countries involved are capable of and trying to hunt down Kony themselves.

  24. It was my 1st time hearing about this movement and although I heard alot about this video this was my first time watching it. I think others & myself appreciate the concern to spread awareness surrounding international criminals as they should be held accountable but the video blended too much of the organizations agenda along with the message that “you must join us our movement” in order to accomplish anything. My fear is that if the U.S. constantly gets involved with more countries spread out all over the world we are going to end up in more wars and conflict. There should be better answers to these situations than rely on politicians and the U.S. armed forces. Although the video is propaganda for their invisible children movement it had positive characteristics – democrats and republicans actually working together to actually accomplish something and the American youth taking part to donate time and money, I would just rather not seee it all taking place in the hands of one groups agenda.

  25. Is it possible that this film does more harm than good? I don’t believe so. This is a different question then it is possible that this film does harm? The answer here is yes, it does do harm. It is, like many critics have pointed out, a bad solution to a much larger reaching problem. But I do think it does good. It has gotten millions of people talking, reading, and I believe that it is nearly impossible to encounter the Kony2012 video without also being exposed to well-grounded criticisms. I believe that if anything it is helping people to realize that the Kony2012 solution has problems – thus the vast amount of harsh commentary, and these problems stem around a lack of real knowledge of the issues and the unfortunate colonial aspect. This confrontation is a good thing and I think it is worth it. I m glad for the NGO video, not because of invisible children, but because of the informed and intentional reaction of the real players.

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