I was granted permission to execute Voicing Entebbe in Entebbe by Mayor Vincent Kayanja. It was at the beginning of April 2018, right after my crowd funding campaign had successfully ended.

We had been communicating via email and Skype for several months. Following up on the project proposal I had sent to his office, I met with him in June to officially close the agreement. We were allocated a central spot at the Mayor’s garden. (Despite the title, the Mayor’s garden is a public park situated along the Kampala - Entebbe Road. It was officiated by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in 1994. 

We spoke about the necessity of engaging local communities - in particular women, concerning issues of safety and violence. He reiterated that sensitisation was the key to dealing with these issues. 

Three weeks later, permission to implement this project at the Mayor’s garden was revoked. I received a call from the Town Clerk who told me that the project had political connotations. In his opinion, Voicing Entebbe had become an issue of National security pending clearance from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The duration of this clearance would take anywhere from 2 weeks onwards.

I followed up this pending state of clearance for several weeks but heard nothing back. My calls and emails were left unanswered. 

Together with poet, Ife Piankhi and LC division B speaker, Daisy Aloyo, we held a gathering with several women in Entebbe. We had a diverse mixture of professions and walks of life. Most of the women came from humble backgrounds with a shared experience of loss. We found a serene private location where we would carry on with the project. Creative writing, theatrical tableau’s, active listening and speaking enabled us to create a safe space dealing with micro and macro issues affecting our roles and position in society. Piankhi facilitated writing and reflecting about our lives through an exercise called the river of life. The trauma of the murders were condensed into the text, When I heard which became part of the mobile sound installation.

Image: Christine Ayo
image: Christine Ayo