“Our parents used to advise us that anything we do, even if we go somewhere, we must copy our culture.”

Quote and photo from the field. By ESR Nicholas Rowland Wainman.

2019.12.16 | Mia Korsbæk

 

All ESR's are on fieldwork in various parts of Africa in 2019. As part of the dissemination they will be sending a photo and a quote from the field while they are away.   

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This photo and quote from the field comes from ESR Nicholas Rowland Wainman who is doing his fieldwork in Uganda on refugee livelihoods. Read more about his research here

 

Andrew’s house is situated in Palabek settlement, Lamwo District, Northern Uganda. It stands out amongst many of the neighbours for it’s square design and the diagonal brickwork. Andrew was at school when the conflict found him. He heard gunshots and realised that he had to run. He’s been separated from his parents ever since.

It took 1 and a half weeks to travel from Western Bahr-El Ghazal to the Ugandan border. After some time in Juba, he was lucky to get a lift in the back of a truck. All he had with him were the clothes on his back and the schoolbooks he had managed to carry from school. After moving from one area of the settlement to be near to people who speak his mother language, one of his main priorities was to build a house to protect him from the weather and wild animals.

Like most of the refugees in Palabek, he built a temporary shelter, where he stayed for the first couple of months. As Andrew was only a teenager when he came to Palabek, this was the first time he’d ever built a house. After practicing with the temporary shelter and a house he helped build for a friend, he wanted to build a house like the houses found in the village in South Sudan he left behind. From memory, he started to think back to how he watched his father build and now the house is a source of pride, as he managed to recreate a style from his ancestral homeland.

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