Thursday, 5 April 2012

Kony 2012 Part II: Progress and Idealism

Back at the beginning of March, Invisible Children (IC) released a video looking at the rebel leader Joseph Kony and his organisation, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) who, after ravaging Uganda, is rampaging through South Sudan, Central African Republic and the Congo.  The video aimed for social media to spread the video and to make this man famous: so famous that it will be impossible for those in power to not make a move and arrest the man, putting a stop to the LRA's murder, abduction and general atrocities in the name of power.

Spread social media did and famous Kony did become.  The video itself has reached almost 90 million views so far, with countless reposts, and most people, in the Western world at least, now know the name of Joseph Kony and what he stands for.  the Kony 2012 campaign had its critics but, obviously, its supporters too and has released a second video to follow up the first.

The video's aims are to explain how the campaign came about, what progress has been made and what to do next.  The first video basically did their first point but the good thing about this video is to see that the campaign against this evil man does seem to be speeding forward.  There has been discussion of the campaign in governments across the US and the UK (shown in the video) and especially in the African Union, comprising of all but two of Africa's countries.

Other, more physical progress has been made in the area itself with more early-warning radio systems being set up and many captives of the LRA escaping thanks to the help of postcards created by the UN and Invisible Children.  Social media has done its job so far and there are murmurings among governments but the real test is still to come.

Invisible Children have a very idealistic view of the future.  The video includes the idea of a future without conflict, a revolution, a world where each person looks out for each other and the world is rid of injustice.  This is a wonderful vision of the future and one which Invisible Children and the Kony 2012 campaign is based on: 'the better world we want is coming; its just waiting for us to stop at nothing'.

The next step from creating a following of believers is to have them take action, which Invisible Children hope will happen on April 20th.  This, for me, is the D-Day for Kony2012; whether the popularity of the campaign so far and the stirring in society it has caused transfers into a physical demonstration of the belief its followers have.  The videos both have very emotional, almost patriotic, sequences of people erecting posters, signs and paintings of their Kony 2012 support but will this come to be on April 20th?  If it does, it could be a sign that this idealistic vision of the future is on its way.

Though I certainly hope that Kony can be stopped and his group put to an end, I wonder whether IC's idealistic dream will, or even can, ever happen.  Surely there will just be another evil to take the LRA's place?  After all, Kony is at the top of a long list of tyrants across the worlds on the International Criminal Court's (ICC) most-wanted list; will there ever be an end to the evil this world has?

It will be very interesting to see if Kony 2012's trust in humanity will overcome the evil of Joseph Kony and we will maybe be able to see that happening across our streets on the morning of the 21st of April.  Will you be 'covering the night' in a fortnight's time?  Do you think Invisible Children's idealistic future will ever come to pass?