Al Jazeera Launches #UgandaSpeaks To Let Ugandans Weigh In On KONY 2012

By Megan O'Neill 

Thanks to the viral spread of Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 campaign, millions of people around the globe have been talking about Joseph Kony, the LRA and the alleged crisis in Uganda.  However, critics have said that one crucial voice is missing from the film, the conversation and the debate—the voice of Ugandans.  To this end, Al Jazeera has launched a new campaign called Uganda Speaks to find out what people on the ground in Uganda, who have lived the Kony story, have to say about the campaign.

Al Jazeera explains their initiative on the Uganda Speaks website spotlight, which launched yesterday morning:

In the last couple of weeks many people internationally have been talking about the LRA and Joseph Kony.  There have also been conversations about the children who have been affected, who some call “invisible children”.

The boys and girls that have been kidnapped by Kony’s soldiers.  The boys have been forced to kill and maim and the girls to give sexual services.  People are arguing over the facts and over the portrayal of the communities that have been affected.  There has also been debate over the ethics of those, who say they have answers to the problem.

Now the rest of the world has had their say Al Jazeera wants to hear from you inside Uganda.  What do you think about the situation and what solutions do you have to share with the international community?

Ugandans are asked to Tweet using the #UgandaSpeaks hashtag, email or text +256790893828 to weigh in with their experience and thoughts on the matter.

On the Al Jazeera website, viewers can check out what Ugandans have to say on an interactive map that highlights comments and shows where they are coming in from.  Browsing through, viewers will find comments like “I think it’s too late and will benefit the makers of the short film more especially that Kony is now out of our country,” and “I wish invisible children had been produced like 20yrs ago. #UgandaSpeaks it is now too little too late. Kony is out of Ug. The kids rsafe.”  One commenter says, “What we indirectly get from this video is that Ugandans fit the one dimensional African stereotype of poor, helpless and dependent.”

Read more from Ugandans via the interactive map embedded below and let us know what you think.  What’s your take on the whole KONY 2012 controversy?  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.