Without the Internet and YouTube, [Joseph Kony’s] dastardly deeds would not resonate with politicians. When you get 100 million Americans looking at something, you will get our attention.Sen. Lindsey Graham • On the effect Kony 2012 has had on lawmakers. Yesterday, over a third of the Senate co-sponsored a bill condemning Kony’s actions; now, Graham and other members of Congress are working on a “bounty bill” to help encourage the capture (or “disappearing,” shall we say) of Kony, the now-infamous Ugandan warlord. Graham’s bosom buddy, John McCain, echoed his colleague’s sentiments, saying that “if not ending up dead, [Kony] could end up in the International Criminal Court, and it’d be a wonderful thing.” Now, there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Kony 2012 and its creators; however, regardless of what you think of the organization behind the effort, it’s inspiring that something as simple as a YouTube video can actually spur Congress into action. It’s also nice to see Democrats and Republicans agree on something for once. source (via • follow)
We thought a few thousand people would see the film, but in less than a week, millions of people around the world saw it. While that attention was great for raising awareness about Joseph Kony, it also brought a lot of attention to Jason and, because of how personal the film is, many of the attacks against it were also very personal, and Jason took them very hard.Danica Russell • From a statement on the very public breakdown suffered by her husband Jason yesterday, one of the co-founders of Invisible Children and the narrator of “Kony 2012.” A statement released yesterday by the organization’s CEO, Ben Keesey, struck a similar tone – emphasizing concern for Russell’s “health issue” and suggesting it may have been a by-product of scrutiny and stress from the mega-success of their viral video. Setting aside the arguments about the merits or demerits of “Kony 2012” itself, this is a striking lesson in the personal implications of the viral video culture. One can make something that may touch thousands, or even millions, but that can come with mental and emotional costs that may seem remote and abstract while sitting in front of Final Cut Pro. Best wishes to Russell and his family during such a difficult ordeal. source (via • follow)
No one wants a boring documentary on Africa. Maybe we have to make it pop, and we have to make it cool. We view ourself as the Pixar of human rights stories.“Kony 2012” director Jason Russell • Making a telling point in an interview with the New York Times about his video, which has faced popularity and scorn in equal measures. The success of the video — far beyond your average viral video — has pushed its spread far beyond the traditional activism video, but not without criticism. Should Pixar be an example for an activist movement?