Friday, April 20, 2012

Cover the Night

Back in early March I wrote this blog post and posted the now famous Kony 2012 video.

That video by Invisible Children went viral in a way that could not have been predicted, certainly not by the makers of the video.  They were quickly overwhelmed and as they have tried to ride the tsunami wave of interest and criticism and expectation their leader became a victim of a breakdown and their resources were depleted quickly.  They seem to have found an even keel and I have continued to be impressed with their media campaign ....... social media campaign.......as it has rolled out and today is COVER THE NIGHT....... the whole purpose of the video in the first place.

In many ways the hope to make Kony famous has already been achieved.

The message seemed to hit a generation through social media who were just waiting for a campaign.  Millions of people, mainly younger than I, have watched the first video and the all the subsequent ones.  They shared that video on twitter on Facebook, they made the slogan their Facebook profile photo.  They seemed swept up in this cause in a truly global way.

It seemed hopeful that so many people could be engaged in a cause/issue/problem so far away.  It was social media genius.

And then the matter became complicated as dissenting voices rose and called into question the validity of the cause, the legitimacy of the organisation.  Rumours of funds being misplaced, Directors going loco.....even that Kony is dead and/or arrested already and the whole thing is a hoax.

The young people who so willingly clicked the "share" button on their facebook are now unsure about taking to the streets and Covering the Night.

I will be fascinated to see if social media "action" leads to actual activism on the streets.

No matter what you think about this particular campaign, I choose to see the hope that at least millions of eyes and ears heard a well told story that didn't personally benefit them and felt compelled by it.  I hope they do act in some way, any way, to make their community better, to redeem a social condition, to truly seek justice in this world, not just in 2012 but always.  Not just for child soldiers in East and Central Africa but for all children, for all people.

May peace and justice, awareness and compassion greet us all tomorrow morning.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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