Expressive arts such as caller tunes and ring tunes can be an effective method of conflict resolution. According to Dr Sylvia Nannyonga- Tamusuza, an Associate Professor of Music and Head, Department of Performing Arts and Film at Makerere University, communication through caller tunes and other expressive arts is non confrontational, reduces chances of conflicts turning violent and greatly relieves stress.
In her ongoing research titled, “Ring Tunes and Caller Tunes: New Media’s Sustenance of Song Performance Tradition as Women’s Strategy for Domestic Conflict Management among the Baganda of Uganda”, Dr Tamusuza explores the role of expressive arts in resolving conflicts.
Her initial research specifically explored the experiences of underprivileged women in managing conflicts through caller tunes and ring tunes. Presenting her findings at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) seminar held on 20th September, 2019 at Makerere University, Dr Tamusuza informed participants that many of the women she had interviewed were positive about the effectiveness of caller tunes in resolving conflicts. The women shared experiences of how this form of communication had helped them to peacefully resolve family and other forms of conflict.
Dr Tamusuza underscored the importance of reconsidering the use of expressive arts in mitigating conflicts. “Expressive arts offer safe space for talking about conflict. The affected parties can communicate their feelings without hurting anyone and with no limitation in terms of geographical space,” she noted.
However some participants had reservations over the effectiveness of caller tunes noting that in some cases, the intended recipient might not get the message.
They appealed to the presenter to expand her research beyond the “underprivileged women”. They suggested that she explores the perceptions of men and women in all sectors.