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KONY 2012, Military Humanitarianism, and the Magic of Occult Economies
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2012 (English)In: Africa Spectrum, ISSN 0002-0397, E-ISSN 1868-6869, Vol. 47, no 2-3, 127-135 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The global success of the film KONY 2012 by Invisible Chil­dren, Inc., manifests far greater magical powers than those of Joseph Kony and his ruthless Lord’s Resistance Army, which it portrays. The most promi­nent feature of the Invisible Children lobby is the making and constant remaking of a master narrative that depoliticizes and dehistoricizes a murky reality of globalized war into an essentialized black-and-white story. The magic of such a digestible storyline, with Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony as a global poster boy for evil personified, not only plays into the hands of the oppres­sive Ugandan government but has also become handy for the US armed forces as they seek to increase their presence on the African conti­nent. As the US-led war on terror is renewed and expanded, Invisible Chil­dren’s humanitarian slogan, “Stop at nothing”, has proven to be exception­ally selective, manifesting the occult economy of global activism that calls for military interventions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 47, no 2-3, 127-135 p.
Keyword [en]
Uganda, Central Africa, films, civil wars, military intervention, Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
National Category
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-181561ISI: 000313225200007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-181561DiVA: diva2:556789
Available from: 2012-09-26 Created: 2012-09-26 Last updated: 2014-11-05Bibliographically approved

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Finnström, Sverker
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The Hugo Valentin CentreDepartment of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
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