I have spent this summer to Uganda working with two NGOs: Health Nest Uganda in Enttebe and Hope for Youth Uganda in Mukono. Together with professor Kristin Bodiford from the Dominican University in Chicago (also our collaborator at NHTV) and the Imagineering Masters alumina Shirley Jane, we developed a project based upon photo-voice and storytelling.
These are methods embrace the perspective that life is multifaceted, polysemic and complex where meaning is always created and re-created. However, even though there are many ways to give meaning to life, sometimes dominant (negative) discourses prevail. Appreciative and strength-based approaches aim at introducing other voices that might not be heard or noticed.
And so, that was our focus: to bring to fore other meanings beyond the dominant ones of poverty, violence and disease. We wanted to generate stories that could also portray the beauty of Uganda and empower its people.
The result was a bricolage of stories collaboratively developed with the youth. We had a final exhibition for the community to see their creation, and that too was inspiring and empowering for the kids.
I had a fantastic time working with the young people, visiting the community and also guest lecturing at the Nkumba University with the topic: -“Dialogue, Imagination and Co-Creation as Resources of Change”.
I hope that this summer’s project will mark the beginning of a long and productive collaboration with the NGOs as well as the University.
Click here to see the pics.