Inspired by the story of a blind girl in the book, “All the Light We Cannot See”, Makerere University (MAK) don, Dr. Angelo Kakande, wisely came up with an inclusive, Art Programme for Persons with Disability to Experience the Outside World through Enabling Them have the Right to Access Uganda’s Public Monuments.
Kakande believes that the disabled Ugandans have for long been deprived of a right to access /see Uganda’s public monuments located in Kampala’s central business district. “We produced architectural drawings and brailed art as an intervention to render specific public monuments accessible to for persons with disability,” he has said.
Among the monuments is the Stride Monument, at Parliament, recreated by Artist Simon Banda, through cotton cloth and Manila paper, to create a feel for the blind.
Another MAK don, and arguably Uganda’s Most Valuable Painter (MVP), Dr. Amanda Tumusiime, who is also part the project, told this reporter that inclusions must be a key factor in information dissemination. “Although a monument is a type of structure created explicitly to commemorate a person or an event, it is an important symbol to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage. That’s why, as the Department, we thought it right to use Art to create access for the physically-impaired Ugandans,” she said.
Kakande notes that the project was financed by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, American Council for Learned Societies through African Humanities Programme and Makerere University. It included a team of MAK artists; Simon Banga, Eddie Butiondo-Mbaalya and Tumusiime.