Monday, March 12, 2012

Compare and contrast

Last week, I posted a long response to the Kony 2012 viral video.  In it, I suggested a number of questions for you to ask yourself when watching the video.

Yesterday, Ugandan blogger TMS Ruge (whom I quoted in my post) recommended a video by a different organization also working in Northern Uganda, called Hope North.  I cannot tell you anything about this organization itself, but I do ask you to watch the video, which is 10 minutes shorter than Kony 2012, and ask yourself the same questions:

1. How are Africans portrayed? 
Are they victims, villains, or heroes? Do they have power or are they powerless? What do they get to say for themselves? What actions do they ask others to take?

2. How is the West portrayed?
Again, victims, villains, or heroes? Do Westerners have power or are they powerless? What do they get to say about Africa?

3. Who gets to speak? 
Pretty self-explanatory. But also note in what role people are cast when they speak and who gets to interrupt whom.

4. How does this video appeal to your emotions? 
What techniques does it use to heighten emotions? When does it speak to you directly? What does this video tell you about you?

5. What does Hope North get out of this? 
Not assigning any motives here, but what does this organization get if people participate? How does this campaign benefit them?

And I would add the following question:

6. Does watching this video change your image of what's happening in Northern Uganda?
Does it complicate things? Simplify things? Clarify things? Confuse things?

So what do you think?

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