Adam Branch in Al Jazeera:
From Kampala, the Kony 2012 hysteria was easy to miss. I'm not on Facebook or Twitter. I don't watch YouTube and the Ugandan papers didn't pick up the story for several days. But what I could not avoid were the hundreds of emails from friends, colleagues, and students in the US about the video by Invisible Children and the massive online response to it.
I have not watched the video. As someone who has worked in northern Uganda and researched the war there for more than a decade, much of it with a local human rights organisation based in Gulu, the Invisible Children organisation and their videos have often left me infuriated – I remember the sleepless nights after I watched their “Rough Cut” film for the first time with a group of students, after which I tried to explain to the audience what was wrong with the film while on stage with one of the filmmakers.
My frustration with the group has largely reflected the concerns expressed so convincingly by those online critics who have been willing to bring the fury of Invisible Children's true believers down upon themselves in order to point out what is wrong with this group's approach: the warmongering, the narcissism, the commercialisation, the reductive and one-sided story they tell, their portrayal of Africans as helpless children in need of rescue by white Americans.