The last couple of years have brought incredible change in the world, and most of it has been started by disgruntled youth and divulged through the internet and social media. Technology has allowed large groups of people to become more organised and effective than ever before: from the Arab Spring movement and the denouncement of corrupt governments, to the latest viral, world-wide phenomenon, Kony 2012, the internet is thrusting forward the change we desperately need to see in the world.
It’s amazing to me that the Kony 2012 project has received so much world-wide attention in such a short time. It’s incredible what people—no matter where we are in the world—can achieve when we set our minds to it and act as our conscience dictates, whether that be by posting a link on Facebook or Twitter, or by making a documentary film about it.
(But let’s also remember to look at these issues from different angles, as they are certainly not one-dimensional. Basically, don’t get carried away by the masses just because it’s the thing to do. Research! Find a different solution. The point of mass communication is to share different ideas and not simply to jump on the first bandwagon that crosses your path.)
I believe that, apart from the message the film is sending about the atrocities committed for decades by Joseph Kony and the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) in Uganda and other Central African nations, it highlights the power we have as a people to bring injustice to a global forum and bring awareness to these issues (as well as making it impossible for governments to ignore).
Using celebrities and advertisements for the propagation of severe injustices which have been ignored by the general public should be the rule of thumb and not an exception; extreme situations, like the one being experienced in Uganda and its neighbouring countries, are happening around the globe. Why aren’t more of these issues getting as much attention? What about children starving in Sudan and Ethiopia? What about soldier children in other war-ridden countries in the rest of the African continent, in Asia and Latin America? What about child prostitution? What about poverty and inequality?
It’s about time advertisement took a new direction; one that helps people, and not simply bombards us with trite, over-done images day in and day out. Do we really need to see Kim Kardashian selling more shoes? Do we need another Coca-Cola ad that incites us to purchase it, the most popular drink in the world? Do we need to see, on a daily basis, musicians and actors selling sex? I think the film’s producers’ idea of utilising these brands (both individuals and companies) to create awareness and stir up the consciousness and pockets of people and governments around the world is long over-due.
Let’s continue the movement of exposing injustices, corruption and violence. Let’s deal with it peacefully and in an organised fashion. Let’s show the world that the youth, that our generations, are going to do things differently, and better. Let’s leave a mark in history, let’s make this year one for the history books—and not just those written by the victors, but those which will be read by children all over the world and teach them about the magnificent power of numbers, of empathy, of justice and of mass communication.
Let’s create a future we can be proud of.