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Uganda’s arts are representative of our vibrant history, diverse ethnic groups, and unique cultural heritage, offering a window into the rich tapestry of traditions that have evolved over time. In recent times – we’ve had limitations and challenges arising in how the knowledge is produced and preserved for future generations? How does history intersect with today’s most pressing social issues? Are cultural institutions detached from the publics? What are the perspectives shaping public discourse on Uganda’s political history?

Uganda is currently experiencing a new phase when it comes to the protection of cultural heritage. The responsibility of preserving and showcasing cultural heritage objects is no longer solely entrusted to the government. The country now has approximately 25 national and community museums spread across different regions, actively involved in preserving and presenting significant aspects of Uganda’s diverse and intricate history, as well as its cultural heritage. However, the documentation of former leaders, political events and political figures has been limited.

The role of politics is crucial because knowledge production and dissemination operates within specific political trajectories that may constrain or promote it. How do cultural institutions document socio-political narratives back into the public domain for memory and dialogue? How do cultural spaces address silent contestations surrounding certain aspects of the country’s cultural heritage and history?

Similar to mainstream media, museums play a vital role as institutions of social memory, shaping the understanding of cultural heritage within society. However, there remains a lack of representation of certain controversial personalities in government and community museums. Additionally, certain aspects of Uganda’s cultural heritage and history are

considered “contentious” or “difficult” due to underlying ethnic, political, and religious tensions such as the Uganda Martyrs. In some instances, political and cultural groups have attempted to appropriate their own political history or cultures while erasing the history and cultures of others. This is done to assert and defend their own cultural visibility, power, and legitimacy, often at the expense of other cultures and histories

The #Civic Art Talks are curated by KQ Hub Africa and the Podcasters-in- Residence (Media Challenge Initiative). The podcast series will release 4 episodes. These episodes cover topics on civic engagement – debating issues on youth political participation, civic education, agency of the arts and culture, creative approaches to innovation and what it means to live in a fast changing country (Uganda). The #Civic Art Talks series are curated in collaboration with key stakeholders (in the confluence of the creative arts and civic space).