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April 5, 2012

Does Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012” sequel calm your concerns?

"Beyond Famous" wants to clear up misconceptions: In the month since the release of the first “Kony 2012” video, a lot has happened — extreme hype, massive viralityextreme backlash, widespread questioning, congressional action and a very public mental breakdown. But that hasn’t stopped Invisible Children from trying, and now they’ve released a second clip on the phenomenon, partly an attempt to calm concerns and to more sharply focus on what the charity does in Africa, and partly to continue interest in the story of the Lord’s Resistance Army’s Joseph Kony. Of note: The voice on the video is not that of Jason Russell, who directed and narrated the first clip but was the subject of the TMZ-plastered breakdown. What do you guys think? Does this help calm some of your concerns, or are you still skeptical?

10:58 // 2 years ago
March 17, 2012
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 (viafollow)
16:33 // 2 years ago
March 16, 2012

Not all of Invisible Children’s efforts were as slick as Kony 2012: For example, this 2006 clip, which is kinda like a reeeeeally bad episode of “Glee.”

23:36 // 2 years ago
"Kony 2012" director Jason Russell arrested after public breakdown
It’s bad, guys. He even showed up on TMZ. Russell, who has faced a ton of praise and criticism in recent weeks over his group’s successful attempt to make Joseph Kony famous, was detained Thursday for public drunkenness, masturbating in public and vandalizing cars on the streets of San Diego, the group’s American home base. Officials realized that he was having a bit of a breakdown and hospitalized him. “Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition,” the CEO of Invisible Children, Ben Keesey, said in a statement. “He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday.” In case anyone’s morbidly curious, we’ll let you head over to TMZ yourselves. No link necessary. source
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It’s bad, guys. He even showed up on TMZ. Russell, who has faced a ton of praise and criticism in recent weeks over his group’s successful attempt to make Joseph Kony famous, was detained Thursday for public drunkenness, masturbating in public and vandalizing cars on the streets of San Diego, the group’s American home base. Officials realized that he was having a bit of a breakdown and hospitalized him. “Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition,” the CEO of Invisible Children, Ben Keesey, said in a statement. “He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday.” In case anyone’s morbidly curious, we’ll let you head over to TMZ yourselves. No link necessary. source

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19:30 // 2 years ago
March 14, 2012

An organization called African Youth Initiative Network screened the now-infamous KONY 2012 documentary for thousands of Northern Ugandan men, women, and children on Tuesday. While some were confused by the film’s narrative, many were angered by it’s portrayal of their country and near-celebrity status that it bestowed upon Joseph Kony. “If people in those countries care about us, they will not wear t-shirts with pictures of Joseph Kony for any reason,” said one attendee, adding, “that would celebrate our suffering.” source

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19:55 // 2 years ago
March 13, 2012
Look at the staff page on our website to see how many Africans work with us. It’s not as if we’re all white guys from San Diego.
Invisible Children “Director of Ideology” Jedidiah Jenkins •  Giving GOOD one of the first interviews on behalf of the embattled organization since they initially posted a rebuttal to early criticisms on their website. During the interview, the GOOD reporter asked Jenkins what he would say directly to critics if  given the opportunity. “Our films are made for high school children. We make films that speak the language of kids,” he said, adding, “Our films weren’t made to be scrutinized by the Guardian.” source (viafollow)
21:14 // 2 years ago
March 9, 2012
16:55 // 2 years ago
March 8, 2012
Because we’re still getting messages about this (no need to send any more, we’re aware), here’s a link to our Kony 2012 coverage so far, including our think-piece on the matter. A lot of criticism of the Invisible Children movement has cropped up today, criticism which the movement itself has responded to. “Some organizations focus exclusively on documenting human rights abuses, some focus exclusively on international advocacy or awareness, and some focus exclusively on, on-the-ground development,” the group claims. “We do all three. At the same time. This comprehensive model is intentional and has shown to be very effective.”

Because we’re still getting messages about this (no need to send any more, we’re aware), here’s a link to our Kony 2012 coverage so far, including our think-piece on the matterA lot of criticism of the Invisible Children movement has cropped up today, criticism which the movement itself has responded to. “Some organizations focus exclusively on documenting human rights abuses, some focus exclusively on international advocacy or awareness, and some focus exclusively on, on-the-ground development,” the group claims. “We do all three. At the same time. This comprehensive model is intentional and has shown to be very effective.”

12:16 // 2 years ago
March 7, 2012
Our programs are Ugandan inspired and Ugandan led. As in they were created by Ugandans for Ugandans. Nobody is more aware of the dangers of the “White Man’s Burder” [sic] messiah complex than Invisible Children. Our programs actively seek to empower Ugandans to help themselves. Every. Single. Program.
Invisible Children’s John Rudolph Beaton has written a response to criticisms the group’s Kony 2012 campaign has faced, specifically from Visible Children. He’s clear though, that he’s not speaking for his group: "This is my own personal, response and does not reflect the views of any person or any organization besides myself."
16:02 // 2 years ago