Huffpost WorldPost

'Kony 2012' Prompts Outrage In Uganda, Future Screenings Canceled (VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Everyone from actors to models to business leaders have weighed in on "Kony 2012," the 30-minute video about Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army that went viral last week.

However, little has been heard about what the Ugandans who were affected by Kony and the LRA think of the video.

Al Jazeera's Malcom Webb went to a public screening of the video in Lira in Northern Uganda, which, according to him, is "the area worst affected by Joseph Kony's Rebel Lord's Resistance Army."

Webb notes in the video above that the audience thought they'd see a film that reflected their experience, not a film that focused on an American father and his son, as "Kony 2012" largely does. He adds that the attendees didn't even get to see the entire video because people became so angry and frustrated with the depiction that they began throwing rocks.

"The event ended with the angrier members of the audience throwing rocks and shouting abusive criticism, as the rest fled for safety, leaving an abandoned projector, with organisers and the press running for cover until the dust settled," Webb reports for Al Jazeera.

"I cannot understand the intention of this video," said Emmy Okello, a journalist in Lira, according to The Guardian. "It is difficult to account to us if you are not including local people. What has angered people is that the video is about a white person, not about the victims. All of them came here hoping to see video that tells their story."

The Associated Press reported last week that some Ugandans in the country's capital have also criticized the video for oversimplifying a complicated issue.

"There is no historical context," Timothy Kalyegira, a prominent social critic and journalist in Uganda told the AP. "It's more like a fashion thing."

Victor Ochen, the director of The African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET), the group that organized the screening, said in a statement that it drew more than 35,000 people and was broadcast on five radio stations. The Guardian reports that other people estimated the film drew 5,000 attendees.

Due to the response, future AYINET public screenings of "Kony 2012" in Lira reportedly have been canceled.

"[T]he film produced such outrage, anger and hurt that AYINET has decided that in order not to further harm victims or provoke any violent response that it is better to halt any further screenings for now," Ochan said in the statement.

According to GlobalPost, Pius Bigirimana, a Ugandan official in charge of rebuilding LRA-torn areas of northern Uganda, has also been outspoken about the video, even though he hasn't seen it.

“Anybody portraying Uganda to still have insecurity is a sadist," he said, according to GlobalPost. "That person is a liar and is peddling falsehoods."

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Kony in 2005, but so far he has evaded capture. Human Rights Watch reports that Kony is suspected to be in Central African Republic.

From the Associated Press:

Kony's Ugandan rebel group is blamed for tens of thousands of mutilations and killings over the last 26 years. The militia abducts children, forcing them to serve as soldiers or sex slaves, and even to kill their parents or each other to survive.

Watch the video from Malcolm Webb above, and click over to his accompanying article to read more about the screening in Uganda.

This post has been updated with more information about what upset those watching the film. The 5,000 person estimate from The Guardian has also been added.

-

Joseph Kony Facts
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction