Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 video is garnering support through social networking sites while also generating substantial backlash online. It even became the most viral video in history. But now, people are finally getting around to asking northern Ugandans what they thought of the viral sensation.
In light of the media storm that the film has produced, the African Youth Initiative Network, a northern Ugandan-based NGO, arranged a screening for the communities most affected by the LRA while it operated in Uganda, Al Jazeera reports. And the reaction might not be what Invisible Children expected.
After heavy publicity, crowds of thousands arrived at the Mayor’s Gardens in the center of the town of Lira to see the latest portrayal of Ugandan life after war. But the audience was “puzzled,” as Al Jazeera describes, on why their plight was narrated by an American and his young son.
The confusion soon turned to anger toward the end of the film, which concluded with audience members chucking rocks at the screen and reproaching the video for its inaccurate portrayals.
Victor Ochen, director of AYINET Uganda and a survivor of Lord’s Resistance Army violence, wrote a response to the viral power Kony2012 has engendered. He emphasized the focus should not be on capturing Kony, but aiding his survivors left behind.
“Raising potentially false expectations such as arresting Kony in 2012 will not rebuild the lives of the people in northern Uganda.” said Ochen in a statement on AYINET’s website. “Restoration of communities devastated by Kony is a greater priority than catching or even killing him.”