WE ARE WALUKUBA

We are Walukuba’ is an intergenerational community group of some 60 women and men of all ages who have been working together since February 2015. Our group has developed into an alternative social space, where we use creative expression to share ideas, identify key social and environmental concerns, and begin to generate ground-up and sustainable interventions through local action and participatory governance. Drawing on a variety of art-forms including image theatre, poetry, rap and dance, scripted and devised drama, we aim to communicate key issues identified at the grass-roots in an holistic manner which is often overlooked by single issue initiatives and organisations.

Our work has aimed to challenge existing hierarchies to ensure all community members have equal space to share their voices and ideas, regardless of age, gender, education level, tribe, religion or income. We believe everyone has something of value to share. We work in many different languages, including Luganda, Lusoga, English and Kiswahili.

We began our work in February 2015, using creative expression to explore and reflect on environmental issues and responsibilities. From the beginning we have employed a wide idea of the environment, concerned with matters such as deforestation, swamp degradation, degraded infrastructure, and waste disposal. However, we also think the physical environment is linked to the human environment, so we engage with social concerns such as gender inequality, poverty, unfair working conditions, domestic violence, family planning, land grabbing, lack of access to quality education, and corruption.

‘We are Walukuba’ have been working alongside Professor Jane Plastow, Director of the Leeds University Centre for African Studies and Professor of African Theatre, with Anthropologist Dr. Katie McQuaid, Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, and Baron Oron, a Theatre for Development Practitioner. Our first two events, held on the 13th June 2015 in Walukuba, and on the 18th August 2015 in Jinja town, were funded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council, under their Care for the Future programme. Jane and Katie work as part of a wider project, entitled ‘Intersection: Intergenerational Justice, Consumption and Sustainability in Comparative Perspective,’ which comprises an interdisciplinary and international team examining, from an intergenerational perspective, key urban sustainability concerns in Uganda, the United Kingdom, and China.

Aims

  • We aim to raise debate and develop local action to promote sustainable development agendas in Walukuba and beyond.
  • We aim to promote multi-stakeholder partnerships to fight inequality from the ground up as we seek to build a sustainable society for all.
  • We highlight the importance of integrating both genders and all age groups into the policy-making agenda to set Jinja on a sustainable and resilient path, as we work to make sure that no-one will be left behind.
  • We highlight the need for embedded research and knowledge exchange activities between communities and policy-makers, and within communities, to understand and build capacity to tackle issues central to achieving sustainable development.