First and foremost I will mention that I am guilty of not researching anything in regards to the KONY2012 video. What I viewed is what I believed was going on right then and there. Needless to say I was shocked listening to the cybercast of the #KONY2012 video at the Berkman Center. Rosebell Kagumire’s interview summed it up nicely, the video was made through the ‘western eyes’ and incorporated “cute children”. She mentioned the video failed to show that the last time LRA attacked was in 2006. The video portrayed Uganda and Southern Sudan as still currently under attack by Joseph Kony and his guerrilla army. I really feel stupid for just believing EVERYTHING that I saw in this video. Was it because EVERYONE on my Facebook newsfeed as well as Twitter timeline had something to say about these videos as well? Another interesting fact she mentioned was that the video showed no involvement by the Ugandan government but an American man and wanting to save an African child and only because of this the recognition and the help started. Also from Kagumire’s interview I learnt that the Ugandan government did have peace talks in 2006 and the American military did try to intervene and send help but had a failed attack against the LRA. This is mentioned in the video but as a solution, as though it never happened. As Kagumire states the video is nothing new about what is going on in Uganda and whether it reaches a million people that it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it reaches the right people who can actually do something about it. One last point she mentioned that struck me was Oil. Apparently Uganda has an abundance of oil and seeing that the LRA has been in existence for so long, why did it take the US as well as other countries to have an interest in the lives of Ugandan people. Is it because of their access to oil? Makes you wonder with the current rising prices for Gas.
Gilad Lotan, a network researcher was also interviewed and from him research he was able to pin point how this Kony2012 video spread quickly. The demographics were teenagers, their bios were linked to God and they were located in Ohio, Oklahoma etc. They all sent out multiple tweets to celebrities that were on twitter and if they weren’t on twitter, the tweets they sent mentioned the celebrities name. The teenagers basically pressured celebrities into talking about the Kony/LRA issue. Lotan figured that the Invisible Children foundation should use this wide spread attention wisely and that celebrities will now be tougher to future pressure in regards to anything of this aspect and magnitude. The information Lotan mentioned was quite interesting. This all now sounds like a cult to me … large numbers of teenagers, going after people on Twitter and harassing them … I don’t know … Just saying …
Ethan Zuckerman, fiounder of Global voices had a lot of criticism but in the end I thought he seemed hopeful about the goal of the Invisible Children.
Lastly Amanda Taub mentioned the Invisble Children as having “genuine skills to marketing” and the video as “emotionally compelling” and I definitely agree to that. Hey, as I said before, they caught me with the video. Taub believes the video spends a lot of time on Jason Russell, the founder of Invisible Children and his son instead of showing the Ugandan people and what they were going through. They did just show the African boy Jason wants to help but they could have shown more. It’s not just one African boy experiencing the LRA but the country as a whole. She also mentions like Kagumire that we do not hear about the politics of Uganda or another other solutions attempted or thought of , other than the American military getting involved. and as I have stated before I was very much unaware that the American government had actually intervene before unsuccessfully. She gave other solutions that she thought would work such as the Awareness Campaign and the Name and Sharing Campaign. Also that that Ugandan people themselves should be giving their own perspectives. I agree with her to let leaders and people who are better equipped to make decisions and come up with solutions to assist the Ugandan government by listening to them directly and not through a video of someone viewing it from the outside.
Overall I think the idea of the Invisible Children is right on point and that’s about it but they should not determine how the goal is met through their eyes but the eyes of those that are directly affected.