I was really moved by watching KONY 2012 this week, if you haven’t done so already you can watch it here :
In summary it’s a short film just under thirty minutes created by a charity organisation called Invisible Children. It aims to raise awareness for the No 1 War Criminal in the world known as Joseph Kony. His crimes against humanity include murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement, rape, cruel treatment of civilians, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population, pillaging, inducing rape, and forced enlisting of children into the rebel ranks.
By making his name known worldwide Invisible Children hope to remind the American Government to continue their support of 100 military personnel who are helping the Ugandan government find Kony. This is a humanitarian issue. Not a political one. The American government will only continue to support this mission if they know the people of their country care enough to demand it.
Of course something like this, is encouraged to spread worldwide. If nothing, that’s what the Internet is for. Sharing.
The reason it struck me hard, wasn’t necessarily all about the cause but about the how, millions of people having the power to have their voices heard. And are doing something about it. Through the Internet and the ‘Facebook’ generation we have an opportunity to change the world. To affect politics. It’s incredibly empowering, after all is that not what democracy is?!
Wikipedia defines a democracy as ‘an egalitarian form of government in which all the citizens of a nation together determine public policy, the laws and the actions of their state, requiring that all citizens have an equal opportunity to express their opinion’.
Of course ‘in practise, “democracy” is the extent to which a given system approximates this ideal, and a given political system is referred to as “a democracy” if it allows a certain approximation to ideal democracy.’
Are we entering a new age then, the age of Interocracy?
I went to the KONY2012 website to purchase an action pack, I feel strongly about what they are doing, and want to support them. After a few minutes I decided I wouldn’t buy the action pack, as I wasn’t sure whether I would actually be canvassing my town with the merchandise. Plus, there was a lot of (expected) negative chat on Facebook and Twitter about the merchandise and that the money wasn’t actually going to the victims or the people affected by Kony but just to fund this awareness campaign.
That’s fine I thought. I’m under no illusions. They’ve done a good job, and the Freedom of Speech and Power of The People is worth supporting.
However I decided I would just purchase a bracelet, something I could wear that would show my support and express my opinion. The bracelet was $10, which was acceptable, but then there was an additional $20 International Shipping charge. I’m sorry, but thirty dollars for a piece of string!?! I’ll make my own thanks.
There’s always moral implications of creating a mock version of charity merchandise. Going to the local Sunday Market and buying a knock-off just doesn’t seem right. People do it, it raises awareness. But it’s never quite justified is it?
BUT this isn’t about the charity. The money doesn’t benefit the victims, it benefits the campaign. The campaign is to raise awareness, so why can’t we do that in our own way?
Cue Scottish take on supporting the KONY2012 awareness campaign. Credit to my friend Mark Hogg, who wrote it on Facebook - ‘Kony no dae that’ a quick witted spin on the Scottish saying ‘Gonnae no dae that!’ for references, please look up http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gonnae_no
So without further ado, I give you the Scottish KONY2012 campaign. An individual response to support a good cause, and hopefully a sign of a more democratic world and a generation for change!
KONY NO DAE THAT