How to respect local agency, in 19 minutes | Project Diaspora

How to respect local agency, in 19 minutes

by TMS Ruge on March 16, 2012 · 5 comments

If you have been under a rock for the last week, you probably didn’t spend 29 minutes to see this video about Joseph Kony, dubbed Kony 2012. But if you did, then you have to take 19 minutes to watch the above video by Hope North.

Hope North, “is a 40-acre campus in northern Uganda where refugees, orphans and former child soldiers find a place to call home. It is a living and learning community with an accredited secondary school, vocational training center and full time Ugandan staff of fifteen.”

There’s a clear difference in these two videos that are both have the intended purpose of raising awareness, but the primary difference is that this film pays masterful respect to the agency of the subjects who are both the narrators and the subjects of the story. This combination results in a heart-tugging emotional journey into the tragic circumstances that necessitated the existence of Hope North.

Two films. Two very different narratives. A singular purpose.

I wish there was more I could say about this film, but there isn’t anything else to add. The film speaks for itself. I’d love to hear your views. But more importantly, I’d love for us to support this organization as well. Watch it, tweet it, Facebook it. Blog it.



{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Deb March 18, 2012 at 10:57 am

Teddy, I agree, the narratives are vastly different – Hope North is powerful precisely because it is told from a local perspective. We all have our own stories to tell about our experiences in life. The telling of our own stories is what empowers us no matter where we live.


Saskia March 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

What I felt during 29 minutes of Kony2012: increasing irritation turning to disgust at how Africa is once again portrayed as the “heart of darkness”. What I felt during 19 minutes of Hope North: admiration for the beautiful images, well-told story and amazing kids who managed to live on after all that happened. The difference couldn’t be greater. Thanks for sharing!


tms ruge March 17, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Thanks Saskia, this is what I felt too! Excellent perspective!


Louisa March 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

Sorry, this is really bugging me:

“But if you have, then you have to take 19 minus to watch the above video by Hope North.”



tms ruge March 17, 2012 at 9:54 am

Hahahah. Sorry about that Louisa. Now fixed!


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