The #KONY2012 And Invisible Children Campaign
KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by non-profit, San Diego-based group Invisible Children that aims to make Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.
Directed and narrated by the IC’s co-founder Jason “Radical” Russell, the film is a compelling 30-minute tale that attempts to encapsulate the gravity of Kony’s LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), a militant group with a Christian extreme religious ideology known for the extreme atrocities they commit against civilians including killings, mutilations, and in some accounts even cannibalism across Uganda and now South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic.
The film’s opening line (“Right now there are more people on Facebook than there were on the planet 200 years ago”) sums up the campaign’s ethos that the power of social networking and online communities should be mobilized more than ever before, based on the concept of humanity’s “greatest desire to belong and connect.” The world has been aware of Joseph Kony’s atrocious war crimes for over 20 years (over 30,000 young people have been recruited by the LRA, with girls turned into sex slaves and boys into child soldiers often forced to kill their own families) and for the past 10 years, the Invisible Children campaign has been fighting to make sure Kony is finally found and arrested. They outline very precise methods to contribute to their cause in the documentary, including “Cover The Night” occurring on April 20 when they’re instructing supporters to blanket their cities with “KONY 2012″ posters. They’re also campaigning for the world’s biggest celebrities (including Jay-Z, Bono, Mark Zuckerberg and more) and a select group of U.S. policy makers to step up and make sure Kony’s LRA is put out of existence once and for all.
While every campaign on a major scale must have its detractors (see here and here for examples of anti-KONY 2012 movements) the support for Invisible Children’s work with KONY 2012 has been overwhelming and is growing by the second. Watch the film for yourself below: