This trove of recently discovered photographs offers an unprecedented opportunity to take a closer look at Idi Amin’s dictatorship and its impact on Ugandan history. Culled from a collection of 70,000 negatives from the archives of the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, the images in this collection were taken by Amin’s personal photographers between the 1950s and mid-1980s. Like many dictators, Amin used photography as a means of spreading propaganda that would flatter his regime while obscuring its failures and abuses. Organized into thematic sections, these photographs show how Amin sought to gain support for acts such as his expulsion of tens of thousands of South Asians in 1972 and for the »Economic War«, in which citizens charged with petty theft were tried and executed.
This publication accompanied a homonymous exhibition at the Uganda Museum in Kampala (18th May – 30th November 2019). Here you find the booklet.
Publisher: Prestel Publishing
The unseen archive of Idi Amin (New Vision TV).
The pictures presented in this book are the work of photographers employed by Idi Amin’s government. The photos were made to glorify President Amin, elevate the accomplishments of his presidency, and demonstrate the iniquities of the enemies that his government pursued. At the time of its creation the collection of photographs was carefully edited and pruned to eliminate evidence of inhumanity.
There are whole fields of experience – of trauma, violence, degradation, poverty, mourning – that are invisible on the surface of the images in the UBC archive. As the authors of this book, we are obliged to ensure that the things that the cameras did not show are not forgotten. We want to remind you, the viewer, that behind these beautiful pictures – vibrating with energy, enthusiasm and life – death was ever present, just outside the frame.
Derek R. Peterson and Richard Vokes
Book Specs: Hardcover | Published by Prestel | Mar 02, 2021 | 160 Pages | 9-1/2 x 11 | ISBN 9783791386454. Available here.
Derek Petersen is Professor of History, African and Afroamerican Studies at the University of Michigan. He has edited books about the Atlantic slave trade, the history of journalism, and the the politics of the heritage business in Africa.
Richard Vokes is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Development at the University of Western Australia. He has long-standing research interests in Uganda, especially in the fields of visual and media anthropology.