More people have been asking me about perceptions of the Kony 2012 video in Uganda and rather than answer your questions individually, I thought I would post some more observations/thoughts. I still have not seen the video or formulated a clear opinion on it. I am merely asking questions of people here and trying to understand how the movie is perceived in the country where the LRA originated. I already briefly mentioned the movie in a previous post but just some important facts (also garnered from my discussions with people here):
-The LRA is no longer active in Uganda. A combination of government and civilian forces pushed them out in 2006. Even though the LRA is no longer in Uganda, there are still refugee camps, and much rehabilitation work to be done in Uganda.
I am now shadowing projects in Lira, Uganda, where the Kony 2012 video was recently shown. I have asked the SP staff if they saw the film (so far no one has) and what their thoughts are on it. Here are some notes from a recent discussion (these are one man’s thoughts, not necessarily facts or my opinions):
-The LRA was formed shortly after Museveni assumed power. It was a response to northern tribes feeling marginalized by the new governement (Idi Amin was from the north and the north is primarily Muslim in the midst of a predominantly Christian country).
-It is unclear what Joseph Kony’s motives are. While in Uganda he always ravaged villages and never targeted government forces, indicating that he wasn’t attempting to overthrow the government.
-One big reason why most people in the west no very little about the LRA (until this video) is because of the Ugandan government’s attempts to prevent international media coverage of the group. Museveni supposedly felt this would make the new Ugandan government look weak, and he also did not want outside forces coming in to help deal with the problem.
-The criticisms of Kony 2012 in Lira were:
- The film watered down the violence and devastation. The film only showed a glimpse of the awful things that the LRA did in Uganda.
- The footage is primarily in Uganda, where the LRA is no longer active; therefore possibly hinting to a foreign viewer that the LRA is still in Uganda.
- People were frustrated about the lack of education on the LRA prior to the film (but perhaps this is partially Uganda’s fault?)
Just some thoughts from a Ugandan. Continue to read and educate yourselves people!