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Uganda at 60

An Exhibition of National History from October 5th to January 15th, 2023

The exhibition brings into view the dreams of people who laboured, in the early 1960s, for an open, democratic society. It focuses on movements and ideas that were silenced or forgotten after majority government was achieved. And it honours the historical actors whose hopes for the future were foreclosed by independent Uganda's new rulers.

The core displays are drawn from the remarkable photographic archive of the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation. That collection - which consists of over 70,000 images made between the 1950s and the 1980s - has very recently been digitised. It offers fresh insights into Uganda's civic and political life. The exhibition draws also from the rich newspaper archives of the Makerere University Library, from official archives in Uganda and the United Kingdom, and from colonial records held in British libraries.

By juxtaposing the ceremony of independence with historical evidence created by side-lined people, the exhibition gives voice to people who were not among the crowds cheering on that starry night at Kololo.

The exhibition ends in 1966, a turning point in Uganda's contemporary history. That is when the Uganda Army assaulted the palace of the king of Buganda, when the Rwenzururu king Isaya Mukirane died, and when Milton Obote jettisoned the independence constitution and made himself the central figure in Uganda's public life. It is not a tidy stopping place. But history is never neatly contained.

If you have feedback, questions, or criticisms of the exhibition, please send us an email at

Dr. Pamela Khanakwa, Makerere University
Dr. Derek R. Peterson, University of Michigan
Dr. David Ngendo Tshimba, Uganda Martyrs University
Dr. Edgar Taylor, Makerere University
with advice from Amon Mugume and Nelson Abiti, Uganda Museum

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