This has been a weekend of communities, both far and near. From the continued Kony drama with the lewd public behavior of Invisible Children’s founder, to the responses of local Ugandans to said video. Where are all the Ugandan voices? I keep asking. How do Ugandans feel about the video and aftermath?
Sometimes it’s easier to turn an eye and look towards horrific acts (such as child soldiering) afar, than to look at horrific acts in our local communities. Perhaps this is because it creates distance. For many, the thought of children killing, mutilating, and raping is so foreign that we don’t even know how to conceptualize it. We also play into the media’s portrayal as Africa being dangerous, tribal, and extreme. We have to. Psychologically, we can’t allow ourselves to imagine that these horrific acts could happen in our neighborhoods. They are in those foreign communities, acts done by those people, not us.
Hopefully with the advent of improved information sharing, we’ll be able to hear local community voices, with their prioritized problems and solutions. What do you believe are local problems in your communities, and how would you best approach an attempted solution?