Northern Uganda. The North. Up North.
Most of us (Ugandans), are not really sure what to make of Northern Uganda. Most of us make our judgment about this region from what is reported in the Newspapers or on Television. Some of us think: War, IDP Camps, Kony, Mutilation, LRA, Abduction, Terror – when Northern Uganda comes to mind. If you tried Google Images related to Nothern Uganda, you get: child soldiers, hunger, sickness.
On Friday 2nd December, I had the privilege of attending the preview of the “A New Dawn” exhibition at one of Kampala’s awesome hotels.
‘A New Dawn’ is part of the Northern Uganda Transition Initiative (NUTI), which has worked hard to repair the administrative infrastructure of the region. The project consisted of five professional photographers working throughout all affected areas to produce images of the new peace, while simultaneously mentoring 10 students from Ugandan universities in the art of taking pictures.
One of the main reasons for this photo exhibition was to show what is actually going on in Northern Uganda. A DVD documenting stories from different districts in Northern Uganda was given out at the preview. Stories of a people determined to rebuild their homeland one piece at a time. The War is Over, now what? What is going on? What are people doing? Did you know Northern Uganda is not just Gulu?
People fishing to support their families, leaving IDP camps to settle on their original land, demolishing empty houses that have become habitats for criminals and criminal activity, working their land – planting Sugar Cane, Citrus, Cassava, winowing Rice. Children swimming, boys playing basketball, children walking to school and passionate teachers ready to take on their charges.
Resilience. Smiles. Joy. A New Beginning.
*All photographs are property of ‘A New Dawn Photo’ Campaign.
So to all the creative minds and entrepreneurs, if you are looking for land filled with opportunity and potential, a people willing to learn and take charge of their future; then Northern Uganda is the place for you.
If you would like to go to the exhibition or know someone who would be interested – or anyone interested in Northern Uganda, it will be at the Railway Square, Kampala, from the 5th to the 10th of December, showcasing images of the peace and recovery of northern Uganda.