A name that, until a few days ago, did not sound familiar, neither suggested something. A name that, despite what was underneath, could not puncture the news coverage. Or simply, so far, someone had not done enough to illuminate the dust that often falls on this kind of events. Now, thanks to the web and to the social networking sites, thanks to some enterprising and confident guys, the name of Kony speaks, uncovers, touches and leads to think. The hope is that it leads to act too.
Uganda: thousands and thousands of children abducted and driven to fight, thousands tortured, raped and mutilated. Many people now know that. Many people now know that Joseph Kony is the most worrisome and hunted criminal by the International Criminal Court. Many people now want to do something. All that the UN was not able to do in several years was made by a simple video in a few days: “Kony 2012”. The most viewed video of the moment, uploaded and shared on YouTube and on Vimeo. And the communicative purpose of the Californian guys part of “Invisible Children” has been reached.
“Nothing is more powerful than an idea, whose time has come, whose time is now”. These words open the video. These are the words to which the video succeed, in his 30 minutes of time, to give meaning. Many people have already seen it. For those who have not already done so, it is right to provide. For 30 minutes that inform, 30 minutes that shake our conscience. For 30 minutes of ‘life’. It is a suggestive and provocative short film, “cool” as it is said among youth. Jason Russell, head of the project, wanted it in that way on purpose, because, if the target is to show it, no one would see the umpteenth boring documentary about Africa. It is a matter of clicks.
Son of a Catholic catechist, twenty-five years ago he took the helm of a group of rebels, renaming it the “Lord’s Resistance Army” (LRA). Kony, in his opinion inspired by the Bible and the Ten Commandments, acts in the name of a theocracy in Uganda. Justified by this cause and playing the guru of the moment, he kidnaps, enslaves, tortures, kills and forced to kill… tens of thousands of children. The initiation is stark: children are forced to kill their family members, drink their blood and eat their liver. Nothing is more ferocious. Everything is in the name of God.
The International Criminal Court accuses him 33 times. Of them, 12 are crimes against humanity. We talk about slavery, rape, murder. We talk about children. Several operations, in recent years, have been organized to stop this monster. His name has never appeared in a newspaper significantly, let alone these operations have been successful. There is criticism on the viral phenomenon of these days and on the action of Invisible Children, but now many people know who Joseph Kony is. Thanks to the Internet and the power of the social networking sites, we know about these children.
Even in a battle of clicks, knowledge is understanding, knowledge is consciousness. Even in a battle of clicks, if there is a chance to change something… it originates just from knowledge.