Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

08 March 2012

On Kony 2012

Most of you have probably already seen this video by Invisible Children. It managed to rack up over 15 million views in 72 hours and, impressively, presumably got as many people to actually watch something made for the web that is a half-hour long.

Let yourself react, then take the time to read a couple of articles by people who agree with the video's general purpose, but not with how the information was presented or, in at least one case, how the organisation itself is run.

I watched the video and was moved. A large part of me even wanted to run out and order the campaign kit immediately. But I was left with too many questions: how does one man enslave so many children for so long without deterrence? If he has no support, who is the LRA? Does removing him from the picture take a big enough bite out of this problem?

It's okay to feel something after seeing a great ad. But afterward, and especially when the objective is social mobilization (as opposed to, say, buying mascara), give whatever questions rise to the surface the dignity of an answer. Find the story's hidden side.

You may agree with that hidden side, or you may not, and what you do afterward is up to you. But at least you'll be moving forward well-equipped instead of riding an emotional high. You'll be glad you pursued a fuller context than the one that was framed so nicely. And you'll act with more certainty and greater precision, in part because you'll also find other ways to act (here are a handful).

Your actions then are more likely to sustain themselves, and to persuade.

I know a ton more about Joseph Kony and his injustices today than yesterday. A lot of people do. Already that is better than not knowing. But it's equally important to conduct research about the org providing this information, and just generally to be wary of two-dimensional "kill the bad guy" rhetoric. It is not nearly sufficient reason to take up arms, even if those arms are only posters and bracelets. 

No comments: