"Postcolonial Masculinities in Filmic Narratives and Identity Reconstruction in Uganda"

Luise Hilmers (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin / Universität Vechta)


As part of an ascending globally cultured region, East Africa has undergone a prevailing process of cultural change over the past decades. Thereby globally cultured mechanisms have remarkably contributed to reconceptualise identity constructions and comprehensions of postcolonial masculinities. Uganda is certainly not exempt from these basal alterations, acknowledging that a large number of men have grown up with entirely divergent interpretation schemes of masculinity. Stereotyped assumptions on masculinities based on hierarchy and authority, their social roles and power relations had to be reconsidered and reconceptualised, that profoundly affected identities and gender relations. The fact, that merely negligible analytical sources of postcolonial masculine identity constructions in Uganda filmic narratives exist, signifies a tremendous demand for further elaboration. What makes Uganda so captivating is in the transparency of numerous strata of social life, allowing us to comprehend the past in the present and to scrutinize how pre-colonial, colonial and current ontologies are entangled. Globalisation appended another stratum on top of the old, but the lamination is far from opaque, making the pre-colonial and colonial visible and relevant today.

In my talk, I will emphasise on specific filmic narratives by locating some of the urgent questions of masculinities. Presenting the cultural notions and expectations regarding postcolonial masculinities as constructed by Ugandan filmmakers, I attempt to identify the diverse institutions that enhance particular ideas of postcolonial masculinities and the types of environments that such institutions create for the performance of gender relations and identities.

Anmerkung: Der Vortrag wird in deutscher Sprache gehalten.