Jillian Godsil salutes the efforts of filmmaker Jason Russell, whose massively viral video Kony 2012 exposes the atrocities of warlord Joseph Kony.
This video, made by the charity Invisible Children, seeks to expose the African warlord Joseph Kony. The method is to make him famous, not to celebrate him but to expose him. By making him famous, the charity hopes to keep pressure on the US and Uganda governments to actually bring him to justice. He is the number one criminal on The Hague’s International Criminal List of wanted men in the world.
The video has been seen by in excess of 65 million people in less than three days.
I watched the video in work on Friday. I didn’t really have time but once I started, I could not stop watching for the next thirty minutes. I cried at parts of the film.
The film maker used his own son to explain the problem. In very simple terms we learnt that Kony has been abducting children for his own army. He makes them kill their parents, their siblings. He turns the young girls into sex slaves. He has no grand plan or cause. It is purely for his pleasure and power. He was not been brought to justice previously since no one knows him, or knows about the atrocities committed by him or even what he looks like. Well, about 65 million of us do now. And that number is growing.
At one point the filmmaker, Jason Russell, is seen giving a talk. He says: ‘Who are you to end a war? I’m here to tell you, who are you not to?’
Kony 2012 is about three things. The first is integrity. One person can make a difference. One father can work to make the world a better place for his son. One person can influence other people. One invisible child is just as important as one American child.
The second is the power of modern media. Jason is harnessing people to his cause in the millions. He began with a ground swell of young Americans but has now enlisted celebrities to retweet his film. Without the Internet, this would not be possible. Wrong doers in this world be afraid, be very afraid.
The third point is all about getting off our bottoms and doing something, anything, everything. We all have a part to play in this world so make it a good part. As the Irish Philosopher Edmund Burke once famously said, “All that’s necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”
I salute you Jason Russell. Stop at nothing.