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Race, Colonization + KONY2012

By David Ng On March 15, 2012 | 3 Comments

By now, I’m sure you have heard about the debates going around KONY2012. The rhetoric is largely: “Is Invisible Children credible?”, “Are the facts accurate?”, and “Who is benefiting from the campaign?”

And while all these questions are important, I want to focus here on a part of the debate that hasn’t gotten that much publicity: race.

One of the major things that struck me while watching KONY2012 is the way that black Africans are constructed in the film. It opens with the birth of the filmmaker's child, showing us the ideal western privileged family—beautiful and white. The sequence deliberately suggests the filmmaker's values, and the feelings of protection he has for his family, mirrors that of his target audience. By starting this way, he is asking us to identify with his worldview, and trust that we can accept his judgments as we would our own. This idyllic "American Dream" family is almost immediately juxtaposed with a grim and alien world of "others." He introduces these people to us in the frame of our worst fears: poor, naked, starving children, and their "helpless" black African parents. Is there a worse nightmare for a child or parent to imagine themselves in? Love, then shock, is a recipe that filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock perfected years ago for effectively captivating an audience.

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David Ng is a Hello Cool World veteran with experience going back a decade. David first worked with us when he was just 14 years old as a participant in the youth advisory group for the sexual health education program Condomania. Now an accomplished videographer passionate about the issues of gender and power, he is currently on sabbatical in South Africa while he pursues a Masters in Gender Studies with a focus on international developme

Celebrate Mother’s Day the way it was meant to be… with a little peace and justice!

By Sandy Haksi On May 05, 2010 | 0 Comments

This Sunday, May 9 is Mother’s Day and we’re encouraging everyone to Take Back the Day with the peace and justice organization Inter Pares. Hello Cool World helped create the campaign to reclaim the original meaning of Mother’s Day and are big supporters of Inter Pares. They work internationally with grassroots groups and activists, and have a particular focus on empowering women. You can learn more about Inter Pares (Latin for “among equals”) at:

Check out this short animated on the real, radical “her-story” of Mother’s Day, a day rooted in social activism and the inspiring stories of its 3 extraordinary founding foremothers:

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Sandy is part of The Corporation's grassroots team and has been working on the film's outreach efforts since 2003.

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