Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Kony 2012", short film, exposes dangerous warlord in Uganda; media promotion has drawn attention to the drive to make him "famous"

 Today several media outlets reported on a 30-minute short film by Jason Russell (and “Invisible Children”), “Stop Kony 2012”, about warlord Joseph Kony, who is reported to be maintaining power in northern Uganda by kidnapping boys from their homes and turning them into soldiers, and even kidnapping girls and selling them into the sex trade. (This, of course, invokes Ashton Kutcher’s “real men don’t buy girls”.)  Kony  claims to run a rebel group called the LRA (called the “Lord’s Resistance Army”).

The filmmaker explains the issue to his four year old son, who looks up to his father as someone whose job is to “stop bad guys” rather than (just) make art.  
Russell explains how, in Kony’s part of the world, rulers stay in power by keeping a low profile. He plans to use social media to turn the tables on this way of holding power, even more so than with the Arab Spring.
Russell wants the “Culture Makers” (Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney) to join with the “Policy Makers” (Barack Obama, Congress members, GOP political candidates) to join in a kind of “area of mutual agreement’ to out Kony and all other warlords like him.
The website for the film and pledge drive is hereThe group will post signs all over major US cities April 20, 2012.

MSNBC has a report on the media coverage recently here  (starting with Oprah), and CNN reported it tonight on Piers Morgan.

The film did not cover the controversy over anti-gay legislation in Uganda. 

Media coverage has continued into the next week, with some questions about the accounting for the charity.  Randall appeared on Anderson March 12. 

Update:  April 23, 2012

The organization "Invisible Children" has been reported to have ties with anti-gay groups that supported Proposition 8 in California and maybe even the ferocious anti-gay bills in Uganda, according to Bruce Wilson on the "Talk to Action" blog, link here, as tweeted by the Washington Blade this morning. Stay tuned. 

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