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College of Charleston

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Uganda: Post-Conflict Transformation

Abstract

Narratives are an essential method of communication that create windows into human experiences. Narratives are also responsible for generating the societies in which they are told, or are shaped indelibly by the societies generated by more powerful narratives. In a post-conflict environment where society has been destroyed by decades of violence, the power of narratives to influence society is heightened. Such a postconflict environment is that of northern Uganda, as it emerges from the violence of the war between the LRA and the UPDF. Due to the heightened powers of narratives, it is necessary to give attention to what those narratives portray, specifically the narratives of the youth who are in a position to shape their society around themselves. Examining the youth narratives of the war in northern Uganda allows for the extraction of major themes and issues that are present or will become present in northern Ugandan society.

This four-week long study seeks to extract key aspects within youth narratives of the war in northern Uganda in the form of narratives themes, perceptions of peace, and current issues with peace and politics dynamics in northern Uganda and Uganda as a whole. Data was collected through the process of interviewing and holding focus group discussions with the young generation in Gulu Municipality, Gulu District, Uganda. This report argues that the essential findings within youth narratives are a) the refusal of the youth to dismiss the war as senseless, b) the importance of the emphasis placed on fascination and reverence with Kony and his spiritual order, and c) the potential for perpetuated regional and ethnic tensions within Ugandan society.

Disciplines

African History | African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Arts and Humanities | Community-Based Research | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Pain Management | Politics and Social Change | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Rhetoric

 

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