war dance and dangerous territories

18 Apr

So it’s with a little trepidation that I’m going to write this post as, to be frank, the intention of the His and Hers was never to wade into geopolitics or issues of a  contentious nature but to write about stuff that’s interesting and (hopefully) informative.

Now having been laid up for the last few days with a rather weird ear infection which made leaving a prone position seem like I had been instantly transported back to Friday night, I thought I might as well use the opportunity to binge view old DVDs.

If you haven’t heard of the #Kony2012 campaign and the associated repercussions in the last month or so, it’s likely you haven’t logged on to Twitter or Facebook for a while, and probably don’t know any teenagers.

Through the whole Kony /Invisible Children media furore I was surprised that the documentary War Dance wasn’t widely referenced.

Released in 2007 and nominated for an Oscar, it tells the stories of Dominic, Nancy and Rose, three children of the Acholi tribe in Northern Uganda, which is one of the worst areas affected by the Civil War / LRA.

Disarmingly beautiful, but covering some absolutely harrowing stories that are impossible not to be moved by, re-watching War Dance in light of recent events made me feel as though I should share this other perspective of recent history in Uganda.

Being a bit of a music nerd, the joy and cathartic benefits that music and dance brought these children and their wider community was pretty powerful. I’m not going to question the “awareness” or “education” benefits of students in the West buying Stop Kony packs and arranging rallies, but witnessing the difference that owning a simple xylophone made to Dominic, I couldn’t help question the focus of those efforts.

Frustratingly, War Dance is practically impossible to get hold of in the UK. I have, however, found a YouTube channel which has uploaded it in ten parts, the first of which is below (if you click on their channel you’ll see the others). If you have chance, please take the time to watch it.

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