An Unnecessary Distraction.

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Thoughts on KONY2012.

Over the past couple of days my Facebook, Twitter, and news feeds have all been inundated with people imploring me to watch a 30 minute film by the US charity Invisible Children, about the crimes of LRA leader Joseph Kony and the plight of the child militias in his ‘employ’. There has been the initial flurry of ‘activism’, the backlash, and the counter-backlash already. So, I wanted to investigate all this a little further, as there are a few things which I have found slightly jarring about Invisible Children’s campaign, and the support it has so far received.

Initially, it’s important to express that there are a number of heartening aspects of this sudden abundance of well-meaning concern. Firstly, it is endlessly important that attention is drawn to, and remains on, the critical and complex problems faced by the Central African people; and if there is one permanent result of this campaign, I hope that will be it. Secondly, I think it’s really important for me to state early on here that I fully support any efforts, from anywhere on the globe, to help eradicate child slavery and the use of child militias, as well as efforts to stabilise and aid unstable regions. Anywhere.

However, despite the undoubtable positive consequences that the KONY2012 campaign may have had thus far, there are a number of uncomfortable elements to this media storm which I’d like to discuss at further length. Pray, click ‘read on’…

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Filed under kony2012 kony uganda congo south sudan sudan invisible children lra child soldiers