A critique on Buganda land controversy through painting. A case study: Land Amendment Bill 2007.
Nabachwa, Catherine Virgo
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This guide book critiques land controversy in Buganda, through visual arts/ painting in the power contest between the re-emerging traditionalism and the flagging influence of nationalism in Uganda emerging from the land amendment bill 2007. Specifically, the paper has offered a demonstration and analyzed how land conflicts and their harbingers/sources (imagined or real) are experiences which have resulted into visual discourse and enrich Uganda’s contemporary art through painting. This research has further demonstrated how land controversy has contributed to the resurgence of Buganda nationalism leading to kingdom’s power contest against the previously all powerful central government over land ownership. Second, the paper presents a brief historical perspective to establish the context and clarify the factors responsible for this power contest between the two previously erstwhile allies. Particular songs and performances were analysed, press reading, public dialogues and eventual observation which the researcher detached from their primary way of expression into visual presentation using painting as a tool. The research was conducted amid artists and politicians in Buganda a kingdom sited in the south-central region of the country at present identified as Uganda with an approximated population of about 588-7259 persons per sq.km, both male and female. (1992 “UBOS) The research adopted Historical Research Design and Case and Field Research Design - qualitative data sources and direct observation approaches were employed. The researcher used three types of research instruments; i.e. documentary analysis, interviews and event observation/ checklist. Finally the study has extended this debate and demonstrated that controversy, conflicts and contests associated with land acquisition and possession mainly in Buganda over the Land amendment bill 2007 are experiences to learn from rather than being dismissed as sources of pandemonium, disruption, torment but rather as sources which can inform visual discourse thus extending the borders of Uganda’s contemporary art.