I’ve reflected on the Facebook-powered viral video Kony 2012 with several classes. The lessons went something like this…
1) Watch the Kony 2012 video until Jason Russell explains the situation to his son.
2) Students have a few minutes to reflect on all that they have learned about the situation in Central Africa and the message of the film.
3) When they have shared their thoughts, I offer them an alternative short film from The Guardian.
4) I check that students understand the complexity of the issue. I guide them to consider the geography of Central Africa, the difficulty of fighting small guerrilla groups, and the relentless stress on isolated rural communities. Is the Kony 2012 message too simple? Are there better strategies for defeating the LRA?
The aim of the lesson isn’t to critique the Invisible Children organisation – they offer a usefully robust defence of the campaign on their website, but to help students understand a little more about the reality of the conflict. The LRA Crisis Tracker is a good talking point, and more able students may be able to construct opinions about the value of the programs run by Invisible Children. Wikipedia has an excellent article about the Lords Resistance Army.