Monday, April 16, 2012

KONY 2012: what is right, not what is possible.

A new video on the Kony 2012 campaign has been recently released.

Fascinating. The original video has been viewed more than 100 million times (in just over a month). As with every big hit, it was also heavily criticised: too superficial, too white, too sentimental. Maybe, maybe and maybe but so what? Is the idea to try to do something about what we find wrong, or just to create a perfect product?

The second video tries to respond indirectly to some of the criticisms (more details, more blacks, more to the point) and highlights the impact so far. Actually, while the first had all the ingredients for virality, (a part from a key one, length: who would have imagined that a 30 minutes video would go viral? Will need to update my virality recipe!) this second one is, well... a second one, so, by definitition, it will not be as successful. But there is a bigger point to make at this stage: the campaign wants to move from being mainly 'digital' to 'physical'. Specifically, on the 20th of April they are asking their supporters to write to their local or national politician, and, when the sun sets, go out and carpet bomb with flyers their city - or do any other noticeable legal activity that will put pressure on their government and make Kony known and eventually tracked down.

If they manage to convince enough people to do it, it will be a big first, I think: from 'clicktivism'- very easy from the comfort of your desk - to real action. If then Kony is found and arrested, it will be an unbelievable
success. We will all need to think twice before coming up with the classical excuse for not doing something (i.e. 'It will never work. It's impossible'); but politicians, above all, will need to take notice and maybe, just maybe, start doing what is right on top of what is possible, what is realistically achieveable, never mind what is 'in our national interest'.

But what if they don't manage...will this whole campaign be remembered as a great stunt, great use of social media and worthwhile effort but ultimately a failed campaign?

I wait with anticipation and in the drafting a couple of letters!

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