A little bit of what I learned today... if you're interested, if not... DON'T WORRY... I'll be back to blogging about shoes Monday.
Anyways, today's discussion spent a lot of time focusing on the way to fight neo-liberalism in our own communities, and the way it shapes our own communities. I spent a lot of time contemplating how people understand their own situations and trying to find the links between struggles here and in Africa.
We go to other countries to learn and assist, not to teach or save. (#CHRISTIAN/ #WHITESAVIORCOMPLEX). We must always be aware of U.S. capitalism and how it shapes our interactions with the people we work with. We don't go to another country to bring religion, but to bring the highest development of humanity possible. A lot of professors and scholars at the event believed that Kony 2012 did not/does not represent solidarity or solidarity work.
The "American" representation of Africa is skewed past Tarzan, and in order to understand Kony, we must understand the entire context of Uganda. We have to understand how deeply de-historisised the Kony 2012 video is from the history that actually produced the violence of Joseph Kony. There were 1,000 unnatural deaths per week in Uganda + 1.8 million civilians forced out of their homes. You can't even begin to understand that kind of background from the video alone.
Basically, the video is at odds with any global commitment to solidarity (and in some people's opinion, has a hidden agenda). The filmmaker makes himself a hero (white supremacy complex), this is made obvious when he asks his son, "what does Daddy do?" and the son replies, "Daddy gets the bad guys." His own child was at the center of the video, perhaps in order to achieve some sort of emotional appeal or moral sense of outrage that paints Joseph Kony on a larger than life scale. This reflects George Bush in a way, who in order to obtain an appeal for U.S. military interventionism, painted Osama Bin Laden as the greatest evil.
Basically, it's just giving a face to some cause so we can go in with out troops. Why would we do this in Uganda? Because it's a region in Africa where there is potential for obtaining oil. (FUCK, DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE ABOUT OIL WHEN IT COMES TO AMERICA!?!?!) Needless to say, after this #Kony2012 video, there is a appeal for U.S. military intervention in the region.
A lot of people believe that simply donating online or clicking "like" is activism without activity, or activism without action. If we really want to aid people, we need human contact. Human contact builds trust, trust saves lives and breaks down racial buriers, something clicking a button will never do.