Kony 2012: Intervention Narratives and the Saviour Subject


In 2012, the Kony 2012 Campaign became the most watched human rights video to date, garnering over 100 million views in just six days. The Campaign relied on easily digestible narratives that encouraged an imperialistic military-legal response to the Lord’s Resistance Army’s use of child soldiers in Uganda. Drawing on Mutua’s (2001) framework of savages, victims and saviours, this article analyses the Kony 2012 phenomenon to illustrate how a digital campaign can validate and reproduce subjectivities and structures of domination rather than stimulate sustainable reform-based change. The article critically reflects on the use of digital technology by the Kony 2012 campaign and considers the potential for ‘slacktivism’ and ‘clicktivism’.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2016-03-01
Pages:98 to 112
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How to Cite
Chazal, N. and Pocrnic, A. (2016) “Kony 2012: Intervention Narratives and the Saviour Subject”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 5(1), pp. 98-112. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v5i1.216.

Author Biography

Flinders University

Research Fellow, Criminal Justice