Thursday, April 5, 2012
San Diego-based Invisible Children released a follow up to its viral "Kony 2012'' video today, providing a closer look at the private army of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and acknowledging criticism of the original.
"Kony 2012'' was viewed by more people in a shorter amount of time than any Internet video in history after word about it was spread by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. The new video is called "Kony 2012:Part II - Beyond Famous.''
"We want people to dig deeper into this conflict and actively engage in the solutions,'' said Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children. "A month ago, we launched Kony 2012 with the goal to make Joseph Kony famous in order to bring his crimes to light, and people all around the world are now calling for his arrest.''
The organization contends that Kony impresses children into his army and turns girls into sex slaves. Jolly Okot of Invisible Children said Kony's Lord's Resistance Army has kidnapped 50 people since the March 5 release of the first video, which has been viewed more than 100,000 times, according to web statistics.
Just 10 days after the release of "Kony 2012,'' Invisible Children founder Jason Russell suffered a meltdown on a San Diego street corner. His family said the 33-year-old Russell was extremely exhausted, stressed and dehydrated.
Russell, who played a major role in the first production, is not involved in the nearly 20-minute sequel, which begins with a series of television clips referring to criticism of the original. The video then cuts to supportive comments from Central African leaders.
Invisible Children has sought to bring attention to the plight of Ugandan children for about eight years but skyrocketed to worldwide fame following the release of "Kony 2012.''