Young people changing the world.
Thoughts for young people from the author of Visible Children. Since this all started two weeks ago, I’ve occasionally been criticized for the attention my blog has received on the basis that, as a university student, my opinion shouldn’t be as widely-read as it has been. I guess the logic is that because I’m a “young person”, my opinion is less valuable, or...
Make Kony famous? No thanks, says Uganda.
From an article published by AYINET, a grassroots organization that works with young LRA victims, and which organized a screening of KONY 2012 in Lira, N. Uganda, attended by thousands: “The film’s overall messages were very upsetting to many audience members. “In particular, viewers were outraged by the KONY 2012 campaign’s strategy to make Kony famous and their marketing of...
Invisible Children answers questions.
Remarkably, nobody has sent me these links. My goal has always been to promote discussion and debate about KONY 2012, so I’m happy to offer you Invisible Children’s video responses to some questions they’re receiving on Twitter. 3.16.12 Is military the solution? Origins of advocacy Is there already peace? Other NGOs 3.14.12 Why Support the UPDF? Finding Kony Speaking...
May also be of interest: this video promoting a youth conference called Fourth Estate, which Charlie Brooker described as “sinister.” I suggest watching all of it but if you don’t have time, go to 1:20 and 2:00. Script is by their now-Director of Ideology, Jedidiah Jenkins.
KONY 2012 filmmaker detained for alleged public... →
From NBC San Diego: Jason Russell, the filmmaker behind KONY 2012, was “allegedly found masturbating in public [and] vandalizing cars. […] Police said they received several calls yesterday at 11:30 a.m. of a man in various stages of undress, running through traffic and screaming. Police described him as ‘in his underwear.’” AMA here.
Invisible Children responds to KONY 2012...
“Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition. He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday. Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many,...
Misinformed and naive.
From a Canadian Press interview with a New York PR firm hired by Invisible Children: “With all due respect, I think [Mr. Oyston’s] criticisms and things he’s written are important but are a little misinformed and naive,” said Jesse Derris of Sunshine, Sachs & Associates. To which I shrug and say, “This isn’t about me.” However, I’m keen to know if...
Show me the money.
According to Jason Russell’s appearance on the Today show several days ago, over 500,000 action kits have been ordered at $30 a piece, meaning this campaign has brought in a minimum of $15M in revenue this week. This is great news: at least 500,000 people are “advocate[s] of awesome” according to the group’s webstore! So where’s that money going? I’ll leave it...
Boing Boing's roundup of African responses to KONY... →
I was going to do this post but Boing Boing’s already done it. Please read this.
What to do?
A lot of people have been asking what form their action should take, but frankly, I don’t feel that it’s my business to tell you what to do about Joseph Kony. I’d suggest finding an NGO you like, whether it’s IC or not, researching them, and supporting them with your time and/or resources. Unless you have specialist skills or expertise, it’s likely that a trip to...
It’s been an adventure the last few days for me personally. This page has had over 2.2 million visitors, and today I’ve turned down media requests from Al Jazeera English, FOX, NBC’s Today show and BBC World Service. Why? Because my opinion isn’t what’s relevant. What’s relevant is that credible sources around the world are writing critically about Joseph Kony...
We got trouble.
Please note that posting date has been edited to keep this at the top of the page. Post written March 7, 2012. Many more updates have followed at visiblechildren.tumblr.com which cites all sources, and a “best-of” those updates is available here. I do not doubt for a second that those involved in KONY 2012 have great intentions, nor do I doubt for a second that Joseph Kony is a very...
I’m not alone in my criticism. Many others have shared their concerns, and I am pleased to see an explosion in the amount of ongoing discussion. A brief reading list for anyone who wants to understand what’s going on: Joseph Kony and Crowdsourced Intervention - Jack McDonald, Kings of War - McDonald, of the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, writes about the...
Please read and share Invisible Children's... →
This is precisely the sort of information I was hoping they would be more up-front with. Please read this - it’s great that IC is providing this resource.
Your numbers are wrong. I’m talking about the amount of money that Invisible Children spends on active aid, as opposed to advocacy. I understand that their mission is largely focused on advocacy – my question is whether this is what’s best at this point in the conflict. They’re working on the CharityNavigator score. Great! I think Invisible Children does lots of great work. I...
What was my intent?
When I wrote this, there was almost no ongoing discussion of KONY 2012. I am not an expert - there are flaws in my rhetoric, and I appreciate people taking the time to find them, just as there are flaws in Invisible Children’s. I’m a second-year Political Science student, not an expert, and the audience for this post was originally a group of approximately 30 friends whom it was...
Got a better idea?
A lot of people are bemoaning the perceived negative tone of my article, which wasn’t necessarily my intent. The article below is written to create discourse on issues I feel are important, and to a degree I am playing devil’s advocate. People are looking at alternative ways to support Central Africa and those impacted more directly, with less focus on awareness and more on action....