Gerald Walulya is a Lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University. He holds a PhD in Communication from the University of Oslo, Norway. His teaching areas include, Public Affairs Reporting, News Writing, Reporting and Production, Media Management and the Art of Public Speaking. His research interests include political communication and journalists’ safety. Some of his most recent research focusing on journalists’ safety and self-censorship has appeared in The Journal of Media and Communication and in books published by Routledge and IGI Global. Gerald is currently working on research that focuses on analysing and interpreting former Ugandan President, Idi Amin’s photographs to find out people’s contemporary views about him and the narratives behind his photographs.
This research analyses and interprets former Ugandan President, Idi Amin’s unpublished photographs to find out people’s contemporary views about him and the narratives behind his photographs. I pose two key questions concerning the interpretation people attach to the person of Amin on the basis of his photographs and; the narratives behind these photographs. This research is anchored in the abduction theory of visual interpretation that provides a framework within which viewers understand pictures and interpret their meaning. The study uses a qualitative research approach based on focus group discussion of Amin’s photographs. The photographs were collected from archives of recently discovered unpublished photographs of Amin at Uganda Broadcasting Corporation. Preliminary findings indicate that Amin’s photos exude mixed reactions from a cross-section of Ugandans. To some, the former president is a patriot, a social and likeable person, a national hero, while to others; he was a dictator who used the power of photography to spread propaganda.