Gulu Youth

Youth have been both the primary victims and the primary actors in the two decade long war between the LRA ( Lord's Resistance Army) and the Ugandan state in Northern Uganda, which ended in 2006.

Youth have been both the primary victims and the primary actors in the two decade long war between the LRA ( Lord's Resistance Army) and the Ugandan state in Northern Uganda, which ended in 2006.

My photos capture moments of the daily lives of young people. While drug abuse and violence are the extreme ends of a traumatized post war generation, it is mainly the abundant boredom and idleness caused by massive unemployment and lack of economic opportunities, which affect young people. They are trapped in a void between dreams of a westernized and modern lifestyle they mainly experience through media and the violent past of their own cultural identity. It is the war that has shaped this gap. But even in the longest period of recovery we also find moments of hope and beauty.

This is a work in progress and part of a bigger project about Gulu.

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the Gulu Youth photography project
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Lady Sharia is 24 years old and a well know musician in Gulu. In her songs she sings about equality of men and women and female empowerment. Few people know that she was abducted to be a child soldier with the LRA and has born two children in captivity.

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the Gulu Youth photography project
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Irene, 29, watches as kids in her neighbourhood play with her wheelchair. She lost one of her legs when she stepped on a landmine 12 years ago.

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the Gulu Youth photography project
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Nelson and his friends meet every afternoon to chew leaves, drink and smoke. Chewing makes them feel good about themselves, giving them confidence and self-esteem.

© Anne Ackermann - Listening music in his hut. There is a lot of time to kill especially for young people, the unemployment rate is very high.
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Listening music in his hut. There is a lot of time to kill especially for young people, the unemployment rate is very high.

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the Gulu Youth photography project
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Irene lost one of her legs when she stepped on a landmine 12 years ago. She attended the "Landmine Survivor Beauty School" and now runs a small salon.

© Anne Ackermann - Irene, 29, stands in front of her house. She lost one of her legs when she stepped on a landmine 12 years ago.
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Irene, 29, stands in front of her house. She lost one of her legs when she stepped on a landmine 12 years ago.

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the Gulu Youth photography project
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Angel does occasional jobs like cleaning and working in bars. She dreams about meeting a white man to marry her. She goes out at night hoping to find this person.

© Anne Ackermann - Irenes feet. She survived a landmine 12 years ago.
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Irenes feet. She survived a landmine 12 years ago.

© Anne Ackermann - Young boys are watching TV in a public place.
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Young boys are watching TV in a public place.

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the Gulu Youth photography project
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Two schoolgirls are waiting in the Youth Centre to take their HIV test. As a direct consequence the war the HIV prevalence in Northern Uganda is significantly higher than in the rest of the country.

© Anne Ackermann - Image from the Gulu Youth photography project
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A young man waits to take an HIV blood test at a clinic in Gulu. As a direct consequence the war the HIV prevalence in Northern Uganda is significantly higher than in the rest of the country.

© Anne Ackermann - Lady Sharia, a young musician from Gulu enjoys her soda in a local restaurant.
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Lady Sharia, a young musician from Gulu enjoys her soda in a local restaurant.

© Anne Ackermann - Bar in Gulu.
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Bar in Gulu.

© Anne Ackermann - Shidda, a student, dozes in her bedroom. She shares a small place with her boyfriend.
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Shidda, a student, dozes in her bedroom. She shares a small place with her boyfriend.

© Anne Ackermann - Irene, 29, prays a lot. She lost one of her legs when she stepped on a landmine 12 years ago.
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Irene, 29, prays a lot. She lost one of her legs when she stepped on a landmine 12 years ago.

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Gulu Youth by Anne Ackermann

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