UPDATE:The creators of KONY 2012 – a viral campaign calling for the arrest of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony – have released a follow-up documentary. Invisible Children said they made “KONY 2012: Beyond Famous” in response to the criticism they received after KONY 2012 was created.
Here it is.
Here’s the original post we ran when the movie first went viral:
You may not have heard of Joseph Kony. And that’s a problem.
He might be the worst man in Africa. Maybe even the world. And yet, he’s not ‘famous’. Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Africa, starting out in Uganda before moving to border countries. He trains child soldiers. He kills children who can’t – or won’t – be turned. He maims them. He puts guns and machetes in their hands and tells them to kill others. He has abducted and turned some 65,000 children. Others say the figure is above 100,000. He’s responsible running more than 2 million people out of their homes and land.
How do you stop a man so evil? Well, organisation the Invisible Children are trying. Filmmaker and co-founder Jason Russell shot this short documentary about Joseph Kony to make him ‘famous’ enough that the world might act. He says:
“The ultimate dream for KONY 2012 is that it becomes a tipping point for conversation, and that people will make a commitment to stop at nothing by making sure Kony is known in their circle of influence, whether it’s their family or office or school. The dream would be for Kony to be captured, not killed, and brought to the International Criminal Court to face trial. The world would know about his crimes and they would watch the trial play out on an international level, seeing a man face justice who got away with abducting children, raping little girls, and mutilating people’s faces for 26 years.”
Already today we have been sent this video by dozens of people. It’s going viral. The type of film you watch that leaves you stunned. In silence.
But more people know who he is. Will it help him be arrested? Kony was indicted for war crimes in 2005 by the International Criminal Court, but has never been captured. US President Barack Obama has signed laws stating Kony is a terrorist, and more legislation attempting to stop the LRA. 100 armed US forces were sent to Africa to help local troops find and capture Kony.
To date, he roams free. But now you know. And that must surely help.
The Today Show chatted to Kony 2012’s Jason Russell this morning. Here’s what he has to say:
If you want to donate money to the cause, but are unsure about the charitable reputation of of The Invisible Children you can make donations to War Child, a charity that works on rehabilitating child soldiers in Congo.
Watch the documentary. Tell us what you think. And then tell your friends.