Last Thursday, Invisible Children released “KONY 2012: Part II Beyond Famous,” its sequel to the viral video “KONY 2012.” The release comes despite worldwide criticism and the recent breakdown of the activist group’s co-founder, Jason Russell.
In an attempt to address the criticism “KONY 2012” has faced, such as the Lord’s Resistance Army’s current inactivity in Uganda, Invisible Children explains in the second video that the LRA is still actively terrorizing areas of the Central African Republic, which borders South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“In the four weeks since “KONY 2012” launched, the LRA has reportedly abducted 57 more,” narrator and CEO of Invisible Children, Ben Keesey, said in the sequel.
Similar to the previous video, the filmmakers urge viewers to take action and make their voices heard to policy makers. The video reminds viewers to take part in the “Cover the Night” movement in which supporters and members have planned to take to the streets on April 20 to spread the word about ending LRA violence.
Billy Hamlin, a computer science student at San Diego State, was involved with Invisible Children in high school. Hamlin reports becoming disillusioned to the goals of the organization.
“The day after doing research I realized I wasn’t in support of the goals; I’m not saying they’re bad, but I don’t agree with the goals they’re seeking to get there, such as direct military action,” Hamlin said. “The biggest thing to do is to educate people in general. When people watch the video they need to do more than just watch. There are other possible scenarios and results that could come from it.”
Sarah Nader, a business administration student, said the sequel doesn’t give an in-depth analysis behind LRA violence.
“I was aware of the atrocities against the people of Uganda and Central Africa before watching the first video,” Nader said. “But after watching both “KONY 2012” videos, I still haven’t learned much about the political history and relations between the LRA, Uganda and Central Africa.”
Nader said what made the previous “KONY 2012” go viral was the emotional appeal used by Russell by including his son in the video.
“The video encourages viewers to become active, but before you fight for something you need to know its historic background. You need to know the cause and effect of what you’re fighting for.” Nader said. “I think it is precisely because of both the videos’ lack of in-depth political and historical analysis that they have begun to lose steam.”