Uganda: Fury at 'KONY 2012' screening

Issue 

Invisible Children's “KONY 2012” film, which supports US military intervention in Uganda and has gone viral on the internet, has caused widespread outrage in the central African nation, Al Jazeera said on March 14.

The article pointed out that most Ugandans have been excluded from the “internet revolution”. It said this means most of the victims of Joseph Kony, on whose past crimes the film focuses, have never heard of the film ― or even YouTube.

The article said: “A local charity, the African Youth Initiative Network, thought that the communities worst affected by the LRA, when it operated in Uganda, also deserved an opportunity to see what all the fuss was about, and so organized the event.”

Al Jazeera said thousands turned up in the northern Ugandan town of Lira and “expectations were high”.

However, it said: “The audience was at first puzzled to see the narrative led by an American man ― Jason Russell ― and his young son.

“Towards the end of the film, the mood turned more to anger at what many people saw as a foreign, inaccurate account that belittled and commercialised their suffering, as the film promotes Kony bracelets and other fundraising merchandise, with the aim of making Kony infamous.

“The event ended with the angrier members of the audience throwing rocks and shouting abusive criticism, as the rest fled for safety, leaving an abandoned projector, with organisers and the press running for cover until the dust settled.

“It seems that the while the film has a viral power never seen before in the online community, it did not go down nearly so well with the very people it claims it is meant to help.”

Read more coverage of KONY 2012.

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