March 9, 2012

Two critical essays on the Invisible Children’s Kony2012 campaign

Two useful essays on African Arguments Online with a critical perspective on the “Kony2012” video by Invisible Children:

“#StopKony2012: For most Ugandans Kony’s crimes are from a bygone era” by Angelo Izama. a Ugandan journalist and writer who founded the human security Think Tank, Fanaka Kwawote based in Kampala, and “The Problem with Invisible Children’s ‘Kony 2012′”  by Michael Deibert, a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University and author of the forthcoming Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair (Zed Books)

Iama: “…these campaigns are disempowering of [Africans’] voices… The Kony2012 campaign will primarily succeed in making Invisible Children, not Joseph Kony, more famous… For many in the conflict prevention community, including those who worry about the further militarization of Central Africa, this campaign is just another bad solution to a more difficult problem.”

Deibert: “By blindly supporting Uganda’s current government and its military adventures beyond its borders, as Invisible Children suggests that people do, Invisible Children is in fact guaranteeing that there will be more violence, not less, in Central Africa. I have seen the well-meaning foreigners do plenty of damage before, so that is why people understanding the context and the history of the region is important before they blunder blindly forward to “help” a people they don’t understand.”

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