By now you probably heard about the Kony 2012 campaign or you were one of the 100 million views that the video got on Youtube. The video, which instantly became a viral sensation, promotes a movement to make Ugandan indicted war criminal and International Criminal Court fugitive Joseph Kony globally known in order to have him arrested by December 2012, the time when the campaign expires.
The video, which inspired a lot of people, is a great example of how compelling visual documentation, coupled with the power social media, can cause an impact that years ago was though impossible. Today we see that there are no barriers between people of cultures and backgrounds. Everything is connected and everyone is reachable. I believe visual documentation has more power than ever before, and the Kony movement has showed us that with the right message and the right visual content, everyone can make a difference in your community, country, or even the world.
With the video came great criticism. Many people thought the video oversimplified the events in the region and provided no effective solution to the problem at hand. It is natural that with a campaign of this magnitude many people will find flaws or negative things to talk about and I will not get into details about validity of these criticisms. However, no one can deny that this video was very successful at creating global activism. The video put the spotlight on a very serious issue, that is mass murder and child abduction in Africa, and also created awareness towards it. But most importantly, it inspired people to do something about it, and frankly, that is what matters to me.
To us at People of Change, it is very refreshing to see people utilizing new media to reach the masses and actually make a difference. I hope this will only be the beginning of a movement where the global community is involved and participative.