21 May 2019

Uganda: Amin's Regime Comes to Life in Photo Exhibition

Kampala — On Saturday, Uganda Broadcasting Corporations in conjunction with the Uganda Museum launched an exhibition that is showcasing unpublished pictures from the Amin regime.

Many of these had been recorded films and photo negatives that had been archived at UBC for nearly 40 years.

During his regime, Amin is said to have had one of the most advanced media industries on the continent, he had seen the national broadcaster move from black and white to colour and boosted Radio Uganda.

Because of that relationship Amin tried to build with the media, keeping photographers around him, much of the exhibition that is aptly titled "The Unseen Archive of Idi Amin" is from the media's point of view.

The showcase is a collection of photos describing different stages of the regime such as the expulsion of Asians, the economic war, flagging off artistes to different festivals while others are of senior government officials such as Moses Ali and Nasur Abdallah.

The exhibition that kicked off with a symposium brought together some of the people that worked with Amin at the Uganda Museum.

For instance, yesterday, they held a talk-back session with some of Amin's family members and today, they will be hosting a session of journalists that worked in Amin's regime while Wednesday will host victims of the regime.

Mr Nelson Abiti, the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, Department of Museum and Monuments, said the exhibition opened on May 18, which is also the World Museum Day.

Mr Abiti was also one of the curators of the exhibition alongside Derek Peterson, Edgar Taylor and Richard Vokes, the researchers that found the negatives and helped in redeveloping and digitising them.

Since the exhibition was launched on Saturday, people have wondered why it had to take someone else to come and help Ugandans notice the wealth of history in our archives.

Mr Abiti says most of the video reels were damaged and as the museum, they do not have resources to either restore or digitise them.

Planned exhibition

Locality. The exhibition will be at the Uganda Museum until November 30 and will later be moved to different parts of the country before heading back to the museum in about two years.

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