Africa @ SXSW: What can we learn from #Kony2012?

What people think about #Kony2012 is now somewhat colored by the public meltdown of one of its co-leaders Jason Russell (he was arrested yesterday in San Diego for exposing himself, and hospitalized). Nevertheless, Invisible Children’s methods of organizing and use of social media still needs to be debated (though written before Russell’s meltdown, here’s a good take on the organizational model of Invisible Children and its implications by researcher Dana Boyd). So #Kony2012 was definitely going to be on the agenda at this year’s SXSW. Posters were already up on walls and somebody even painted Joseph Kony’s picture on the streets of Austin. The festival added two last minute panel discussions to the program. AIAC was there for the second one, but unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to speak with someone from Invisible Children. Instead, however, we had a chat with Uganda-born panelist and co-founder of Project Diaspora, Teddy Ruge, and with Sam Gregory, program director at Witness. (During the discussion a Google document was created and it is open for everyone to read and edit.)