Yesterday like most people on the internet in Australia I watched the Kony2012 video.
But I didn’t share it, I didn’t sign up to get a bracelet and a sticker and I didn’t like it.
Before they came up with the like button on Facebook, activism was a lot of work.
– Goat_thrower on twitter
Kony is a super messed up guy and LRA and similar tribes and groups have been ravaging Africa for decades, killing women and children, burning down villages, destroying crops, forcing young boys to join them and using young girls as sex object. their actions are horrendous, inhumane and from my comfortable western lounge room incomprehensible.
the Kony2012 video is really well made, it has sharp editing, emotional personal stories from not only victims of the LRA but also the personal journey of the film maker.
It’s an emotive film, and made to stir up emotion and get us acting, but is it the right emotion and is the method of acting the right thing for us to do?
Just because a fancy film tells you something doesn’t mean it’s right. This film is circulating fast and people are watching it, feeling guilt then clicking share. job done.
I had some concerns watching the video, the first major concern came when the film make was interviewing young Jacob, the film make askes some prying questions about the death of Jacobs broth, the boy says that he won’t cope talking about this but instead of ending the interview the film maker pushes on and Jacob breaks down in tears and slumps his head. Jacob described seeing his brother slaughtered by the LRA, his head in his hands weeping as he recalls the moment the film make says “you’re ok, you’re ok” NO HE”S NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then Jason goes on to say that he doesn’t need to worry and that he’s going to fix the situation.
The whole continent of Africa is constantly hearing rich white people in their ear saying ‘It’s ok, I’ll fix you up”. But yet we just witnessed the biggest food crisis in the history of the world, Kids are dying ever day from diarrhea because of no access to safe water and families lay awake at night in agony becasue they can’t afford a mosquito net.
But we’ll make it right?
This whole Kony campaign by invisible Children is a comfortable campaign, it is reenforcing the notion that us rich people in the west know what’s best, it is reenforcing the idea that we can change the world from our lounge room without needing to change a thing in our lives. Clicking ‘like’ or ‘share’ means yo get to live in your own little protected world, and you feel good about doing something about an uncomfortable situation without having to be uncomfortable yourself. Putting up stickers and posters won’t create a movement to bring down Kony, it will create a movement talking about bringing down kony, it will create a movement talking about posters and stickers. If the world we live is going to change it means we need to change too, not put up a sticker we need to change our lifestyle.
Before you think this is the most empowering film you have ever seen, take time to think about it. Yes watch the film but then be smarter about your response, don’t just do what the video says because it told you to.
Check out these two articles (the first of which was banned by Facebook yesterday and no one could link to it.)
- Visible Children – We got trouble
- You don’t have my vote
- The war that isn’t what it seems
- Joseph Kony is not in Uganda (This one is a must read)
you don’t have to agree with my points or views but I encourage you to at least explore what you are ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ before clicking.
Some further reading my buddy Matt Anslow has just written a post too and he is more smarter and stuff than me.Before they came up with the like button on Facebook, activism was a lot of work.