I haven't had much time to blog recently; but it has certainly been a fascinating few weeks for those of us interested in critical media analysis, not least because of the Kony 2012 viral video, which - apparently backed by Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga and Rihanna - brought imperialist propaganda into the age of social media and celebrity clicktivism. The video's argument, which promotes armed intervention in Uganda, have been suitably demolished elsewhere. A recent video from the prolific Syrian Girl provides some of the geopolitical context and discusses some of the persuasive methods used in the video. Not that I would support all of her arguments. While agreeing with her critique of US imperialism, I don't, as readers of this blog might have guessed, share her admiration for the principle of 'national sovereignty'.
Kony 2012 was also endorsed, predictably enough, by Angelina Jolie, whose new Bosnian war film In the Land of Blood and Honey - her first film as a director - premiered this month. For now, at least, I shall refrain from indulging in yet another diatribe against one-sided, anti-Serb filmmaking (see previous blog post). Suffice to say that, like the Kony 2012 video, the film seems to be a pro-imperialist treatise - hardly surprising given Jolie's publicly stated views about the Bosnian war and her reliance on interviews with US government and security officials during her research for the film. The Serbs, as usual, stand in for the kind of 'bad men' that Jolie is now arguing should be stopped by Western 'intervention' in Syria ('I think Syria has gotten to a point, sadly, where some form of, certainly, where some sort of intervention is absolutely necessary', said Jolie in a recent interview). Bosnia continues, it seems, to serve as a model for those who advocate military violence in the name of humanitarianism.