The everyday and spectacle of subdued citizenship in northern Uganda
Alava, H. (2020). The everyday and spectacle of subdued citizenship in northern Uganda. In K. Holma, & T. Kontinen (Eds.), Practices of Citizenship in East Africa : Perspectives from Philosophical Pragmatism (pp. 90-104). Routledge. Routledge Explorations in Development Studies. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429279171-7
Published inRoutledge Explorations in Development Studies
© 2020 Taylor & Francis
Drawing on ethnographic research in the Acholi town of Kitgum in northern Uganda, this chapter illustrates how citizenship practices are embedded in particular relationships between the state and its citizens. Two key arenas for learning are identified: the everyday, which in this region is tinged by memories of past violence and fears of its recurrence, and moments of spectacular state performance such as the burial of a prominent politician. The chapter shows how practices of citizenship are learned through embodied experiences: by taking part in public debate, by voting or by greeting a flag, but also by running away from a soldier or by staying quiet due to fear. The chapter’s overall aim is to show why any attempts to foster growth into citizenship must commence from recognition and analysis of the everyday practices and spectacular events through which existing modes of citizenship have emerged.