One month ago today, Invisible Children brought to the world's attention the little known plight of children abducted by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda. A new video from the charity sheds more light on the conflict.
In the whirlwind of media attention and public criticism that ensued after last month's video, Invisible Children was accused of simplifying and bending the facts, not contributing enough of their fundraising dollars to the people of Uganda, and not being financially transparent. Some even went so far as to insinuate that the charity was a conspiracy with the US government, driven by Uganda's newly found oil reserves. After weeks of relentless criticism, the nonprofit's director, Jason Russell, underwent a mental breakdown requiring hospitalization.
But despite its challenges, Invisible Children pushes onward. In a follow-up to its video that went viral one month ago, the nonprofit has released another video on Youtube, entitled "Kony 2012 Part II: Beyond Famous." This new release explains the effects of the LRA and the conflict in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan in much more detail.
How well will this video be accepted? Only time will tell. The video from March 2012 garnered 100 million YouTube hits for a number of reasons: its focus on one perpetrator (Kony), a very simplified story, its all-American narrator Russell talking to the camera much of the time, and his engaging young son learning about the atrocities. In contrast, today's video focuses more on the complicated struggle in four countries of Africa and stories from the people affected; narrator Keesey hardly ever appears on camera. There is no really "American" character front and centre in the video for viewers to identify with.
Nevertheless, viewers may appreciate the efforts Invisible Children have taken this time around to explain the conflict in more detail, and why they are calling for joint military action.