A few thoughts

9 Mar

So, no doubt you’ve seen the Kony 2012 video that’s been making the rounds the last couple days. That video is a stroke of marketing genius. But it isn’t exactly accurate – Kony has been out of northern Uganda and in neighboring countries for years.

Personally, I’m always a bit suspicious with slick marketing campaigns. So, I called up my good friend google and checked out Invisible Children. I didn’t particularly like what I saw about them. It reminded me of a post I has read on the Texas in Africa blog about badvocacy, which isn’t a good thing.

Then I read some more:

this post in the this is Africa blog

this post on Hugo O’Doherty’s blog about why you should not donate to Kony 2012

this article in the Telegraph

this essay from Dr Adam Branch, Ugandan scholar

And finally, Invisible Children’s answers to the critiques of their campaign.

Then, after seeing the video reposted a couple times on my friends list, I asked J what he thought. (disclosure: he’s an African history professor) He basically felt the same way I did, then gave me a history lesson on the LRA…

Anyway, it’s really up to you of you want to support this, but I think, personally, that IC is a bit misguided and they should be more accurate in what they put in their videos.


2 Responses to “A few thoughts”

  1. Elizabeth March 13, 2012 at 11:37 #

    Unless they’re extremely misguided, I think I’m good with it. ‘Course I haven’t had time to read all your links. Mostly because I had no idea so many people didn’t know who Kony was. I thought he was up there in people’s minds with Kim Jong Il and Gaddafi. And if this helps him see justice…more power to them. I’ve given up on perfect organizations, just like I’ve given up on perfect politicians or businesses. At this point I’m more interested in seeing good things happen, not arguing over perfection, you know? If I’m missing something really important though, let me know.

    • Chantal March 13, 2012 at 12:00 #

      I’d I wasn’t married to an African history professor, I’d completely agree with what you’re saying. I do think the awareness is great, but when I overhear what Jer and the other profs we know go off about NGOs it seems like sometimes they’re too hard on certain orgs. It’s like Tom’s shoes, they seem great but apparently in some areas where they’ve given out shoes it puts local people out of business, and sometimes I think I might like a pair (like those metallic ones) but I feel like I really shouldn’t. I think I’m too close to too many Africanists.

      Have you ever read the Texas in Africa blog? I think she’s a political science person, she works on Congo and is really smart. She’s also a super hater of ‘badvocacy’ and ‘slacktivism.’ I read her blog, mostly to keep up on Congo things, but sometimes it’s hatery, you know and well, if certain NGOs are doing good things but some facts are wrong, should the group as a whole be dismissed? I guess that’s the point this with Kony2012 business, or at least it’s the major issue people I know have with it – the facts being wrong and the hint of colonialism in the video.

      I think I’m veering off into too much blah blah blahing right now…

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