Day: March 11, 2012

Buy A Bracelet, Sooth Some Guilt. Will Kony 2012 Peak?

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#KONY2012 - pix 14

Starting a global conversation around how injustice is defined is entirely worthwhile to my mind.

From one perspective, as it relates to Kony 2012, it really doesn’t matter whether someone is Most Wanted #1 or so far down the list that they don’t get a mention by name. The best thing that might come out of Kony 2012 is seeing that celebrity figures are not always right (and that we should think for ourselves), that policy makers most often act because of an unstated agenda (and that we should be vigilant), and that removing a Kingpin does not stop the rot or end the war (this is an incredibly naive view which is seen tragically too many times. The capture and death of Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden spring to mind immediately).

40 million views is a lot of activity. Can we have enough faith in the human condition that people can wake up to themselves when they realise that the assumptions behind the Theory of Change of Kony 2012 is flawed, and that we all must take some responsibility for ending bad things where we can?

The tragedy in Kony 2012 is that it reinforces an unthinking acceptance for supremacy of Western intervention. The great opportunity now for Kony 2012 is for bottom up refinement to a simplistic campaign. There is massive support which can be mobilised – not for the arrest and death of Kony (which could be argued as almost inconsequential given the current situation) – but more for a rethinking of what needs to be done to support Uganda and the region. Would Jason Russell be strong enough to open the conversation by saying: “OK, we got it wrong on this one. I know that there is something to be done in that region, but I am not completely sure of the answer. How can Invisible Children (IC) repurpose itself to make a real difference?”

I suspect that IC is too entrenched in the campaign to make this change, but even so the discussions around the edges, like this one, are what is most important.

The question I would leave you with is this: “what action would you suggest I take in order to make the most difference to alleviating child mortality? Would you be open to working together to making a difference in this area?”