Browsing, as I often do in time off, through the excellent DuckRabbit blog, I enjoyed reading post after post calling out photographers for misinformation about stories from a variety of African countries, as well as promoting excellent work from many places. It made me of an image I shot during Mao’s campaign which I love, but which I’ve been unable to use simply because of the visual language it instantly calls to mind. Look at the image below and try to guess what is happening. For those who want a similar level of context to what is often seen in Google Images, Amuru was a district very badly affected by the LRA war.
Could you guess? (Leave your guesses in the comments if you like, I’d be fascinated to hear them)
The building is an abandoned house (likely abandoned during the war, but now part of a bustling trading centre). That huge fire is actually small, a heap of dried grass being burned inside by children who are playing, and the figure in the doorway is a girl who was leaving because it was too warm inside. It’s a picture of children playing and doing exactly the sorts of things I did at their age, but somehow because of its location (a former warzone) and its placing (on a blog largely about Uganda) I’d held back from using it because it just says the wrong things.