In the Light of Kony 2012: The danger of the single story
Earlier this week the American Ngo Invisible Children released their video “Kony 2012″. The video has been seen by millions of people already (the current number says around 40m) and has been the subject of the week in media all over the world. In whatever way you regard the video, you have to admit, that their campaign is efficient. Emiotional manipulation and viral marketing seems to be a good cocktail.
Responses on various blogs, websites and media paint a pretty good picture of a campaign and a NGO that has filled journalists, experienced aid workers, and scollars with awe and contempt. Many toes has been stepped on. There are plenty of good criticism to dig into out there, and we will let the people who have deeper insights and experiences on the subject lead the way (e.g. check OkayAfrica for a bunch of good references, and also Projectdiaspora.org). However, we do wish to share a video with our readers, that in many ways captures the essense of at least one critical focalpoint towards this video: the dominance and danger of the single story: the problem that ‘Kony2012′ will now be printed into the minds and memories of millions of people all over the world as the thing that comes into mind when thinking of Uganda.
The brilliant Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie is the woman behind succesful novels such as The thing around your neck, and Half of a Yellow sun. At a TEDtalk in 2009 she raised the issue of the Danger of a single story, and the Kony2012 must have been exactly what she meant. “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story”.
Have a look at the video below and listen to one of the voices of ‘Africa’ that in this moment should be at least as widely distributed at the Kony2012 video!