the DIY action film studio from the slums of Uganda that took over the Internet and made it plausible for anyone in the world to become an East African kung fu movie commando. [more inside]
"In the winter of 2014, students at Iowa State University received emails asking them to volunteer for an experiment. Researchers were looking for women who would eat bananas that had been genetically engineered to produce extra carotenes, the yellow-orange nutrients that take their name from carrots. Our bodies use alpha and beta carotenes to make retinol, better known as vitamin A, and the experiment was testing how much of the carotenes in the bananas would transform to vitamin A. The researchers were part of an international team trying to end vitamin A deficiency. The emails reached the volunteers they needed to begin the experiment, but they also reached protesters. “As a student in the sustainability program, I immediately started asking questions,” said Iowa State postdoc Rivka Fidel. “Is this proven safe? Have they considered the broader cultural and economic issues?” ... Fidel told me she and her friends had found it nearly impossible to extract information from researchers, or from the Gates Foundation, which is providing funding for this project. Too often conversations about these kinds of issues simply reverberate within their respective echo chambers. So to bridge the gap I took the gist of the students’ questions to people at the Gates Foundation, scientists working on the banana, and the one person who may have done the most to fight vitamin A deficiency — an ophthalmologist who has no interest in either promoting or bashing GMOs." [more inside]
Cleopatra Kambugu was outed as a trans woman following the passage of extremely punitive anti-gay bills in Uganda. She, her boyfriend, and her family are the subject of a series of short documentaries about life in East Africa for openly LGBTQI individuals. "I was born here - a land with beautiful mountains and deep dark forest - a country blessed with diversity in ethnicity, gender, flora and fauna. Yet in all this richness, as a people and as a nation, we still struggle to recognize and appreciate this diversity." links and videos contain some disturbing transphobic and homophobic rhetoric and violence. [more inside]
"I Am Fundi" is a short documentary depicting the education system in Uganda and the measures that the organization, Fundibots, is taking to create change. Victor, a Fundi teacher with a challenging past, is changing the future of Uganda by preparing and instilling excitement for science in young children so that when they grow, they will be confident, supported, and prepared for contemporary practices and technological advances.via
"Who Killed Captain Alex: Uganda's First Action Movie was produced, written, directed, shot, and edited by Nabwana IGG from his home in Wakaliga, Uganda. Made for under $200 - using real blood and a modified car jack for a tripod - the film became a sensation in the slums of Uganda while the trailer went viral in Europe, South America, and the US." [more inside]
Luzira was once the most notorious prison in Uganda. Now it’s home to what is surely the world’s most elaborate prison football league. "Upper Prison has kept itself busy with extraordinary ingenuity. The prisoners have created their own drama, they dance, and they play music on homemade instruments. There is prayer and counselling in the church and mosque. But more popular than anything else is football. Within the prison there are 10 football clubs, some of them almost two decades old, each with their own players, boards and constitutions. Alongside Moses’s old team Aston Villa, there is Liverpool and Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea, Arsenal and Newcastle United."
Déjà Lu republishes locally-selected scholarly articles from journals connected to regional anthropological associations around the world. The result is a PDF-heavy but fascinating collection of long reads on obscure topics. Via. [more inside]
Ghetto Kids Dancing Sitya Loss New Ugandan music (SLYT) Joyfull music, kids dancing. Made me smile, will make you smile too.
The little-known and elusive African golden cat has been caught on camera for the first time in Uganda hunting during daylight in Kibale National Park
Household mentoring "is an innovative extension methodology used to work with poorer households. The specificity of this approach is that all adult members of a household, including both women and men farmers, are visited and assisted by a trained mentor selected from the local community. During these visits, men and women in a household learn how to better plan their livelihoods together, work together to improve their food security and income, and to share the benefits equally." [more inside]
South African artist and activist Gabrielle Le Roux is in San Francisco for the first time to show the "Proudly African & Transgender" portrait and story series she co-created with trans* activists from Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya in 2008, together with a selection of portraits from the "Proudly Trans* in Turkey" collaboration with eighteen trans* activists from across Turkey. The portraits and stories will show at the SF LGBT Center at the invitation of the Queer Cultural Center and SFSU Sociology Dept. Galería de La Raza will be showing the 18 part video installation of the Proudly Trans* in Turkey exhibition, through which trans* activists from across Turkey explore the issues they want to discuss on film. [more inside]
A group of American Quakers say they are offering a way out for some desperate Ugandans fleeing the country’s new Anti-Homosexuality Act. If their account is accurate, it is a remarkable feat for a handful of individuals with very little experience in international aid.... Most Ugandan activists and international human rights groups are discouraging LGBT Ugandans from fleeing, since they largely go to Kenya and wind up in enormous refugee camps that are often just as dangerous for LGBT people as Uganda itself.... But the stories of people fleeing arrest or attack tug at the hearts of foreigners who want to offer direct help to people in crisis. The complex reality on the ground makes that hard to do through established channels — and the donors may never know the individuals they’ve helped. [more inside]
"I saw the trailer for Captain Alex [previously on mefi], and two weeks later I flew from NYC to Uganda." Redditor Uncle_Benon shares a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at filming an action flick in Wakaliwood, a studio based in the slums of Wakaliga, outside Uganda's capital city. [more inside]
After years of speculation and stagnation, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was reportedly passed by Uganda's parliament. Early reports indicate the bill passed despite a possible lack of quorum. A full history of the bill and additional context on LGBT rights in Uganda can be found here.
Gospel of Intolerance - Excerpts of "God Loves Uganda", a feature documentary directed and produced by filmmaker Roger Ross Williams is having its premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film explains how money donated by American evangelicals directly finances the violent antigay movement in Uganda.
Since 2010, over 3,000 children throughout northern Uganda have come down with nodding disease, a degenerative neurological condition, reports CNN. [more inside]
In July 2011, Uganda's Little League baseball team became the first African team to qualify for the Little League World Series, which was held in Williamsport, Pa., in August 2011. After beating the the 22-time World League qualifying Arabian American Little League squad from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the Ugandan team couldn't take part in the world series after their visas were denied (NYT; alt: HuffPo), due to concerns about birth certificate validity, but that's not the end of their story. The Canadian team from Langley raised funds to travel to Uganda, giving the Ugandan team the match they were denied. [more inside]
When it comes to railways, the British are famous for their colonial legacy of one of the world's most extensive railway networks built across then British India but their lesser known and far grander vision was the Cape to Cairo railway network intended to stretch across the sea of colonial pink on the African continent. Left incomplete due to politics and geography, most of it is still almost as it was built in its day. [more inside]
"An amazing chance encounter with a troop of wild mountain gorillas near Bwindi National Park, Uganda."
"I don't want to tell him," says Jean Paul. "I fear he will say: 'Now, my brother is not a man.'" A report on a harrowing but little known tool of war - Male rape.
Four years ago, Katie Davis was homecoming queen at her high school in Brentwood, Tenn. She had a yellow convertible and planned to study nursing in college. But those plans changed just a little.Today, she's in Uganda, sharing her home with 13 orphaned or abandoned girls, ages 2 to 15.(second link has sound)
Amin's hunger for publicity was so great, in fact, that in 1974 he became the first dictator in history to agree to be the subject of an independent documentary film. The resulting movie, Barbet Schroeder's General Idi Amin Dada... is a devastating look at despotism in action and a riveting, and strangely entertaining, portrait of Amin. [more inside]
Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
On February 18th, Ugandans held Presidential and Parliamentary elections. While the final results are still being tabulated, it appears Yoweri “Sevo” Museveni has maintained his position. Museveni, who has held power in Uganda for the past 25 years, is accused of using intimidation and corruption in the electoral campaign, and opposition leaders are already calling for protests and fresh elections. The official line, however, is that Museveni’s off-the-cuff rap won over the youth vote after it was it was remixed and started getting airplay on the radio, in clubs, and as a ringtone. [more inside]
Gay activist David Kato has been beaten to death in Uganda after his photo (along with others) was published in a newspaper under the banner "Hang Them". [SLNYT]
Who Killed Captain Alex - Uganda first action movie (Possible NSFW if offended by the most unrealistic cgi blood in the history of cinema)
As Uganda reels following a bombing that killed at least 64 people in Kampala watching the World Cup final, CNN tells us "why the world should care." [more inside]
A photoset of the first Ugandan skatepark. Built by kids in Kitintale, a working-class suburb of Kampala, without government help or support of any organisation, the skateboard park has become an unexpected focus for a community.
Flooding in Uganda displaces 20,000.
Heavy rains in eastern Uganda have triggered flooding that has displaced more than 20,000 people and hampered search efforts to find victims of massive landslides feared to have killed hundreds, officials said Thursday.
Petition against Anti-Gay Bill Delivered to Ugandan Parliament. Fierce debate continues in Uganda over the Bahati Bill, a controversial anti-homosexual law currently under consideration by the Ugandan government (prev). [more inside]
CyArk is a non-profit which makes three-dimensional scans of archaeological sites with lasers in effort to digitally preserve them. It currently has 27 projects, including Chichén Itzá, Angkor Wat, Anasazi Pueblos in Mesa Verde, Thebes, Rapa Nui and the Royal Tombs at Kasubi. There's quite a lot of material about Cyark online, including profiles Wired Science, a lecture by founder Ben Kacyra at Google as well as an article in Archaeology and an article by two CyArk employees in Professional Surveyor describing how they work.
The Ugandan government is considering a law that would criminalize homosexuality, advocacy for gay rights, or even failing to report homosexuals to the govenment. And death for HIV+ gays. And who is behind this? An American group with purported ties to the administration called the Family. [more inside]
"The Lord’s Resistance Army is now on the loose, moving from village to village, seemingly unhindered, leaving a wake of scorched huts and crushed skulls. Witnesses say the fighters have kidnapped hundreds of children and marched them off into the bush, the latest conscripts in their slave army." [more inside]
Bitone are full of love. : Björk's song "All Is Full Of Love" is covered by Ugandan children and youths on an album by a organization called Bitone (meaning "talent"). Their mission is to restore the lives and hopes of children between 8 and 18 years old in Uganda, whom have been traumatized by the death of their parents or loss of their home due to disease, war, or economic hardship. [via]
Gulu Walk. Every night, up to 40,000 Ugandan children "commute" by foot into city-centres so that they may sleep on the street, or in hospitals, churches and aid centres. They are sent by their parents in an attempt to escape the Lord’s Resistance Army, the armed militia in a civil war that has for years been stealing kids from their homes, turning them into soldiers, servants and sex-slaves. On October 22nd, raise awareness by marching in a Gulu Walk, in 41 cities from Halifax to San Diego to Serbia to Gulu itself. Learn more via photo essays [BBC/LA Times/indie], a radio documentary, and videos. [previously on MeFi] Please spread the word.
Bush's War on Condoms "... the Bush administration's policy of emphasizing abstinence-only prevention programs and cutting federal funding for condoms have contributed to an alleged condom shortage in Uganda." Meanwhile, people desperate to prevent HIV infection have begun using garbage bags as condom substitutes.
Gulu Walk. Aiming to increase awareness about the Night Commuters of Northern Uganda, some Canadians have started a month long series of nightly walks from their homes into the city to sleep. The Night Commuters are children from rural areas near Gulu who must travel into the city each night to remain safe from kidnappers in the countryside.
Ugandan Discussions. Forty years of covers from the British satirical magazine Private Eye, indexed by date and subject. Highlights include Lyndon Johnson (from 1965), Ariel Sharon (from 1982), the Diana car crash and September 11. But above all it's fascinating to see how the magazine's style of satire has changed over the years.
In Uganda, 1.7 million children have been orphaned by Aids - a tenth of the world's total. Here is one woman's story. If you do not have the time to read through the article, please consider a visit to www.sendacow.org.uk, the charity mentioned in the article.
But There's No Oil You Say? The humanitarian situation in northern Uganda is worse than in Iraq, or anywhere else in the world, a senior United Nations official has said. It is a moral outrage" that the world is doing so little for the victims of the war, especially children, says UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland. The rebels routinely abduct children to serve as sex slaves and fighters. Thousands of children leave their houses in northern Uganda to sleep rough in the major towns, where they feel more safe from the threat of abduction by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The United Nations [should] play a great role in scaling down the violence The LRA, under shadowy leader Joseph Kony, says it wants to rule Uganda according to the Biblical Ten Commandments. They often mutilate their victims, by cutting off their lips, noses or ears.
Idi Amin close to death The former big man of Uganda, self-proclaimed Conqueror of the British Empire, scorn of satirists and subject of a 1974 Barbet Schroeder documentary is near death. His overt support of the infamous Entebbe hijacking, intended as his show of strength and global defiance, led (in)directly to his overthrow. (More inside.)