ACTIVIST AND ANTHROPOLOGIST:
THE UTILIZATION OF MEDIA IN MOBILIZING
PROPER CONCEPTS FOR NORTHERN UGANDA
“Mass media are analyzed as forces that provide audiences with ways of seeing and interpreting the world, ways that ultimately shape their very existence and participation within a given society”, says Debra Spitulnik (1993: 294) on the issue of mass media in an anthropology. KONY 2012—the viral video spread to millions by the filmmakers of “Invisible Children”— shape the viewpoints of social media followers to support the campaign of exposing Joseph Kony. Through the use of social media, they were able to spread their messages like a wild fire and thus formed a campaign rooted in misconstrued facts, superior ideals of the U.S., and militaristic support of our foreign policy. The absence of knowledge and narratives from Ugandan people in the film is irresponsible. Not allowing all of the facts to be clearly seen in this issue creates and understanding by the campaign that Africa should be seen as an object worth saving and that we are the ones to do so (Finnegan 2013: 138). In my essay, I will attempt to clarify key historical points to better understand the political turmoil of northern Uganda, which KONY 2012 missed. The absence of the political history and lack of local accounts creates a policy whereby the campaign is clearly a goal-oriented one with a one sided approach. By focusing in on the issue of Joseph Kony in northern Uganda and then zooming in on the social media to promote it, we are only creating a viral story for a mass of young peoples to misconstrue as facts. Which creates the question—how could scholars ever spread the well-developed research on the subject, as quick as KONY 2012 spread but without placing emphasis on an aesthetic value or manipulating concepts?
In fieldwork carried out by Amy Finnegan (2013); she studied both Ugandan peoples and “Invisible Children” followers. She noted that in her field work of the “Invisible...