Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Ugandan history in rare pictures

I have been following the regular photo uploads on the History in Progress facebook page but I didnt know that they had a website. Until now. The website has a relatively large collection of pictures taken in different parts of Uganda from the very early 1900s to just after independence, which are a delight to look at for anybody as interested I am.
Students and teachers of Gayaza Girls School pose for a photo in 1908
In its own words "History In Progress Uganda collects and publishes photographs from (private) collections and archives in Uganda. By doing this HIPUganda opens up possibilities to relate to, react on, and think about Uganda's history in photographs. These photographs can be put in context by those who lived in the time the photographs were taken, or know stories about it. That way they can become valuable in understanding the past and relating it to the present". 
An aerial view of Kampala in the early 60s
Its the bit at the end about the value of the pictures in understanding the past and relating it to the present that is of particular interest to me. As I had already indicated I feel that Uganda's 50th Independence anniversary should be leveraged to get a strong campaign going that will have most Ugandans focusing on what they have in common that is worth celebrating. The Jubilee should also be used to reflect on how far we have come and why we have not moved further than we could have. The people that have been ruling Uganda should hence be called to account or made to step up to the responsibility of pushing the country further.

Making a canoe near Lake Bunyonyi Kabale in the 1930s
The pictures on History in Progress website and Facebook page tell a story of a country and a people developing and embracing a different way of life as the years progress. They show Uganda's steady evolution from a collection of traditional societies to a modern nation, which ought to cause one to reflect on the apparent stagnation or regression (in some areas) since independence. The pictures, especially those of the Uganda Protectorate Public Relations department show the kind of importance attached to things like agricultural extension services, which have all but disappeared in Uganda today resulting in some of associated problems the agricultural sector is facing.

Everybody should hop over to the History in Progress Uganda website or join the History in Progress Facebook page. Get a feel of a different era

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post Julian. I just wanted to add that the website is up, put not yet completely functioning. We hope to give the opportunity to our audience to browse through the photographs on topics they are interested in. As soon as this is working we will fill it up further.
    Meanwhile we hope people will enjoy the images as you do, and add information and stories to them if they have them.