Kony 2012: the photographer who shot the hipsters with a proud colonial mindset

0 Posted by - March 9, 2012 - Blog, Screen, Visual art
The founders of Invisible Children, photographed by Glenna Gordon.

Photograph by Glenna Gordon (detail).

By now you’ve heard of the Kony 2012 campaign, and I’ve already expended enough energy discussing it on Facebook to bring anything new and arts-related to the table.

However, the Washington Post has provided a different angle by interviewing Glenna Gordon, the photographer who shot the now infamous image of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons.

While I found it it baffling that three social media-savvy hipsters thought it was a good idea to pick up a couple of Kalashnikovs and a rocket-propelled grenade, I apparently didn’t give them enough credit. It appears that they’re damn proud of their colonial mindset, and the tough guy act depicted in the photograph only serves to reinforce this image.

According to Gordon, “the photo plays into the myth that Invisible Children are very much actively trying to create. […] I don’t think they think there is a problem with the idea that they are colonial. This photo is the epitome of it, like, we are even going to hold your guns for you.”

She goes on to describe IC’s work as “emotionally manipulative,” and argues that both local aid groups and Ugandans themselves see IC as simply “trying to promote themselves and a version of the narrative.”

Check out the full interview at the Washington Post’s blog.

Also required reading: BoingBoing has compiled a significant list of African voices responding to the Kony 2012 video campaign.

The director of National Treasure responds! Taking a break from making terrible movies, filmmaker Jon Turteltaub argues the Washington Post should apologize to “the kids being killed and raped because you thought it might be smart to bring down the people risking their own lives to save them.” Man, that’s funnier than Cool Runnings.

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