October 24, 2019

6:15 pm - 7:15 pm

Beyond Victimhood: Rethinking Representational Practices in Advocacy

TNH 3.125, Austin, TX

You've seen images and heard stories about people who are in vulnerable situations. Often, images and stories of "victims" are used in human rights campaigns to raise awareness (and money) for issues. But what support do the people behind the images and stories really receive? And what is their status once the campaigns are over?  

Using the "Kony 2012" campaign by Invisible Children as a case study, we'll discuss how human rights advocates can unintentionally harm those they are claiming to support. 

In a conversation featuring Evelyn Apoko (bio below), and facilitated by Savannah Kumar (current law student), we'll examine how advocates can consider the holistic (and complex) needs, desires, and dreams of those who have survived atrocities, rather than treating them as mere "victims." 

Evelyn Apoko's bio: 

Evelyn grew up in a small village in northern Uganda and was abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army at the age of 12. During her forced servitude to the LRA, she was shot and hit by a bomb that severely disfigured her face. She eventually escaped the LRA, and came to the U.S. for reconstructive surgery.  

Evelyn is a powerful advocate who wants to raise awareness of the child soldiers who are currently being forced to fight around the world today and to and lead discussions on forgiveness and perseverance. 

Evelyn will share about her own experiences as a survivor and will speak about the exploitation of survivors and their stories by those who are trying to help, and how we can all be better advocates.