Jinja - We Are Walukuba
From February 2015, Jane Plastow and Uganda Research Fellow Katie McQuaid began working with community members in Jinja's industrial Walukuba district. This work was supported by Baron Oron, an experienced Ugandan theatre for development practitioner. They conducted theatre workshops with a group of over 60 residents of Walukuba over an initial period of five months.
These workshops used creative expression to explore and reflect on environmental issues and responsibilities. They employed a wide idea of the environment working from local people's lived experiences, concerned with matters such as deforestation, swamp degradation, degraded infrastructure, and waste disposal. They also explored links between physical and human environments, engaging 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.
These workshops culminated in 'We Are Walukuba' on 13 June 2015, a grassroots community theatre event involving a cast of over 60 and an audience of hundreds of local residents over the course of the day. Building on the momentum of their first event, a knowledge exchange workshop was held on 18 August 2015 with some new scenes about intergenerational issues, gender inequality and land ownership. This was attended by 80 stakeholders from local government and the voluntary sector. Please follow the links below to find out more about the scenes performed by the community.
We Are Walukuba has since gone from strength to strength, with further invitations to perform scenes for and engage with Jinja Municipal Council on environmental and gender issues. Since Katie and Jane's departure, core members eager to continue the work decided to establish the group as a community based organisation for women and men of all ages. They aim to use creative arts to promote sustainable development and environmental conservation, in their local community and beyond.
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