Over the last day or so, a video put out by Invisible Children about the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army has appeared on countless blogs, twitter feeds, and facebook pages in my world view. According to Vimeo, the video has been viewed over twelve million times. I have yet to watch it (they really don’t need to convince me about the LRA) but it’s been fascinating to watching this blow up., like wildfire, all over the internet. But once the initial burst of fire went by, the criticisms about the video, the organization that produced it, and the problem with the solution advocated by Invisible Children, came to light. Although the internet is great at perpetuating uncritical advocacy, it does not take long before the criticisms and valid questions come to light.
And I must say that some of the criticisms seem spot on to me (I think it’s the picture of the founders of Invisible Children holding weapons and posing with Sudan’s PLA that probably gets me the most and I tend to not be against military options). Even Rachel Held Evans was surprised by the response when she posted the video early yesterday morning (and she has a great list of resources on the story here). The debate on metafilter has also been fascinating as the conversation filled out with humanitarian aid workers located in Uganda, Sudan, and other areas of Africa.
What I really valued seeing was a member of Metafilter posting a link to their blog of pictures from their work in Sudanese refugee camps. There aren’t many posts but the pictures are beautiful, haunting, and really human. The grandmother scrolling through an iPod is probably my favorite.