A Family Politics: Popular Activism in Late Colonial Buganda [Uganda]


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project examines the creative ways that Baganda plotted, wrote, agitated, lobbied, organized, fought, and performed politics during the 1940s and 1950s. During this period, activists challenged oligarchic colonial alliances of indirect rule. They asserted a locally rooted, patriotic and populist political morality and ethic of citizenship that drew on the ideals and metaphors of Ganda familial norms, but did so with distinctly modern means, including newspapers, loudspeakers, international lobbying and publicity, and economic campaigns. Drawing on intelligence reports, anthropologists' notes, and other rich documentation, the study reconstructs this experiment in citizenship imagined in ideals of grandfathers and grandsons, and its collapse in loyalist marital metaphors in the 1950s.