10 Contested Images of 2012

Remember that little video campaign called #Kony2012? Yeah, we wish we could forget too. Few videos have reached the magnitude of pestilence that the non-profit Invisible Children’s video achieved this year. By transforming a complex regional crisis involving the Lord’s Resistance Army into a simple, manufactured (and in some ways factually false) narrative about the forces of good and evil, Jason Russell and his team at Invisible Children mobilized overeager teenagers like never before. Sharing the Kony 2012 video on Facebook and Twitter became akin to saving vulnerable African children from certain abduction. Activism had never been so easy. Amidst the cauldron of outrage, shock and disappointment stirred by the Kony 2012 video, Glenna Gordon released the photo above that further damaged the efforts of Russell and Co. to appear serious and altruistic. Invisible Children tried to embrace the image, calling it a joke, but the damage was done. The furor caused by the video mutated into deeper scrutiny and critical backlash, exposing IC’s ties to evangelical Christian organizations and leading the heroic Russell to have his infamous breakdown. Continue reading