History In Progress Uganda collects and publishes photographs from (private) collections and archives in and about Uganda. The mode of collecting is digitising them. All photographs stay where they are. By sharing the photographs online HIPUganda opens up the possibility to relate to, respond to, and think about how Uganda’s history is (and is not) available in photographs. We invite you to comment on what you see, add your knowledge and ask questions the photographs may raise.
Photographs have no stable meaning. The more than a thousand words they are supposed to say are not embedded in the image but added to it by the viewer and the discourse he or she is part of. HIPUganda considers it important to not see the photographic image as a something fixed, with a static meaning, but as part of a dialogue between people with various histories and experiences.
The history of photography in Uganda started during the second half of the 19th century and was initially mainly practiced by explorers, missionaries and, later, the colonial administration. Early 20th century locally run photo-studios started to appear, mostly operated by members of the Asian community in Uganda.
HIPUganda tries to locate collections relevant to the representation of Uganda’s past. These collections include colonial archives and personal collections, images made in a professional context that could range from photojournalism to anthropology, the content of shoeboxes and albums, photographs made by Ugandan and non Ugandan professionals and amateurs.
HIPUganda is a nonprofit organisation. If you wish to use an image found on this page for commercial use please contact us. We may be able to help you contact the owners of the image/object. In some cases we can provide you with a high res version of a picture for a fee that will be shared with the owner and used to extend our work.
HIPUganda thinks that sharing images, the right to relate to the past, is more important than copy- or portrait rights. That said, it is at no time our intention to embarrass anyone or infringe rights. If you feel that photos shared here should not be in the public sphere, or if you have explicit and exclusive rights to photographs, please contact us and we will act upon it. Photos shared are not intended as political statements, others appropriating them like that is out of our control and responsibility.
HIPUganda is run by a small and dedicated team with several others involved more loosely. If you would like to contribute please get in touch. The most obvious way to contribute is by letting us know if you have or know of collections that could be digitised and shared. Volunteers and financial contributions to aid our work are also more than welcome
HIPUganda was initiated in 2011 by artists Andrea Stultiens (NL/UG) and Canon Griffin (UG). They met during the exhibition of The Kaddu Wasswa Archive and decided that more historical photographs than only this personal collection should be made available. History In Progress Uganda soon started to live on Facebook.