We Are Not Invisible: 5 African Women Respond to the Kony 2012 Campaign
I definitely respect Racialicious for doing what the world should have immediately done before going into a frenzy about IC’s viral video campaign: actually looking into the opinions of experts actually native to that part of the world. Click the link to see these 5 women (who i will be adding to my list of favorite scholars)
Almost overnight, the web was flooded with so much commentary from western media on the erasure of African voices that it became challenging for me to even locate perspectives from fellow Africans; ironically, African voices weren’t initially just being drowned out by the success of IC’s viral campaign, but by western voices sharing their own take. Fortunately, African voices stepped up to the plate, offering a wide range of perspectives; you can find a compilation of African responses to the campaign here, and a more general roundup of the Kony2012 issue here.
Nevertheless, I’m (as always) acutely aware of the amplification of male voices on the Kony 2012 campaign. Hence — and in the spirit of women’s history month — I’d like to highlight African women’s voices. The 5 women below aren’t just adding to the conversation, but inspiring critical thinking about how we can be more conscious about the media we consume, more humble in our efforts to provide support to fellow global citizens, and mindful of the gift social media has given us. Africans now have the power to combat harmful narratives about Africa simply by telling our own.
Loving that this is going around. Not loving that yet again African women’s agency is being erased by incorrectly crediting Racialicious for our own initiative bringing our voices to light. While I kept pointing out that no one was actually seeking African voices on Kony 2012 — just taking up space ranting about how IC didn’t seek input from Africans — no one listened; so I created the post my damn self.
Ultimately, as the popularity of this post proves, no can help Africa “raise our voices” but us; and in this instance, African women did just that. The women I highlighted have already been working on various African initiatives, already writing; as a media activist I did my part to consolidate so that we could hold people accountable — so no one can say African women aren’t speaking, or are ‘waiting’ to be noticed, published etc.
Much love and gratitude to everyone sharing the post (including Racialicious who I’ve written for) but let’s not get ahead of ourselves; let’s not credit others for our own initiative (and work) speaking up, writing, amplifying our own voices.
Respect our agency. Thank you.