Last week, non-profit organization Invisible Children unleashed a media firestorm with its “Kony 2012” film and campaign. The film drew notoriety for the tremendous amount of attention it garnered as well as for the misrepresentations it contained. Specifically, the film oversimplified and misrepresented a conflict more than two and a half decades long, creating the impression that Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) were still fighting a war in Northern Uganda. In fact, Kony and the LRA were pushed out of the country several years ago, and are now concentrated mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. If you are seeking more comprehensive information about Kony and the LRA, here are seven excellent books to help you get started.
This edited volume brings a wide variety of perspectives to bear on the history and politics of Northern Uganda from many of the world’s most preeminent experts. The disagreements contained in the volume demonstrate the complexities of the conflict perhaps better than any other work on the subject. This book is unique because it includes perspectives from academics, international law practitioners, aid workers, and Ugandans themselves. Despite vigorous disagreement, the authors are united in their goal of demystifying a conflict too often shrouded in reductive assumptions about Acholi culture, entrenched conflict, and warlord politics. Ultimately, the book offers critical alternatives to the simplistic narrative promoted by some aid organizations.
Buy the book here.
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