uganda, 2010
At the heart of Africa, near where the river Nile begins its journey, lies a land of red land and 236.040 km2. Life expectancy for its 32 million inhabitants only reaches 52 years. They spend most of it walking, since there are few other means of transportation, even at night like ghosts. 1 out of 3 citizens is illiterate but they all have to struggle with AIDS, with 30% of the population in the 1990s being HIV positive, but also with crime, civil war, the authoritarian practices of the ruling regime, and above all with poverty. Uganda gained its independence from British colonial rule in 1962, but the 8 year junta that followed and the adventurous interferences into the Civil War in Congo along with various short-term investments and projects by various multinational enterprises mean that Uganda’s independence remains at stake. Agriculture, an undeveloped industry and big mineral deposits, lead to a chronically anemic economy. This is the Uganda that I saw in 2010, with all the contradictions of modern Africa, a land where the surprise in some villages at the sight of a white man meets the sight of heavily armed soldiers guarding the banks of the small elite of wealth.