Roughly two months after the release of the KONY2012 video and the tremendous uproar that followed, it is pretty safe to say that the movement is dead. ‘Cover the Night’ seemed a bust by most accounts and for the most part the press and the public have already let Joseph Kony slip off of the main stage and back into the recesses of our collective memory. It actually reminds me of an excerpt from a novel by Milan Kundera:
“The bloody massacre in Bangladesh quickly covered over the memory of the Russian invasion in Czechoslovakia, the assassination of Allende drowned out the groans of Banlgladesh, the war in the Sinai Desert made people forget about Allende, the Cambodian massacre made people forget about Sinai, and so on and so forth until ultimately everyone lets everything be forgotten.” (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
This outcome, then, is typical in some ways while retaining a unique status in others. From an academic perspective this a positive outcome, insofar as much can be learned from it. When 120,000,000 people around the world watch a film with a proactive message–a film that for all of its problems (and there are many) generated a global conversation–and no more than a few thousand people actually hit the streets for the ‘real activism’, that is sending a strong message about the way we see ourselves and others we share the planet with. Thus in my mind, KONY2012 has already more or less reached its end point, and now one can begin to paint a picture of what all really took place, and begin to speculate about more identity based, sociological thoughts.
My first task at this point, however, is to get past all of the media sensationalism and government opacity and try to understand the history and current standing of all of the important actors in the area and concerning KONY2012. This will cover groups like the LRA, the Museveni government, Sudanese rebels, The US armed forces, Invisible Children and a few other large NGO’s, etc etc.
So begins a fact finding mission to figure out who exactly has interactions with the LRA and what their role has been such that the actions of all the actors culminated in the mega viral KONY2012 movie and flash ‘movement’. Then comes the fun stuff.
I have been unable to track down any reliable statistics on ‘Cover the Night’ or how much IC made from its ‘action kits’. If anyone happens to know either of these figures please let me know as they are both very significant.