28 September 2011

Has Advocacy Reached Its Lowest Point?

Joe Turner tipped me off to a video put together by Save the Congo called Unwatchable. The video tries to tie the brutality of the DRC with England. The basic premise is that if we would not stand for it to happen in our own community than we should not be OK with it happening in another country. In short, the video shows a raid by military men on a white British family all with their blonde hair and idyllic flower garden. The men break into the home rape the eldest daughter and murder the parents. Fortunately it comes with a warning for all audience members and mobile phone manufacturers.

The mother is grabbed by a soldier.
If you want to 'make it stop' you can click a button that will take you to the organization's petition calling on the EU to act on conflict minerals. The campaign seemingly says that the cause of rape in the DRC is conflict minerals and it can be stopped with the petition. The connection between violence and conflict minerals is not accepted to be true by all (see this post and many others from Laura Seay on the issue), but the issue here is how Save The Congo is choosing to advocate for this action.

Has it really come to the point where a video of a young girl being violated by a gun is necessary to get people to act? The intent is to be offensive and startling. I get it. This simply takes it too far.

If you feel inclined to do so, you can watch the video here. I felt the need to at least see a good portion in order to write this post, but I would suggest against watching it. Also, you can read about it in this article by Jane Martinson in the Guardian Development which is frankly too kind.