Kanyo, Love

2019. Photography, Text


Kanyo is an Acholi word that means to endure, to be resilient. 


As a weapon of this particular war the LRA abducted women and young girls from their families and homes and forced them into marriage with LRA combatants. When the war ended these former wives of the LRA fighters, and the children they bore during their forced marriages, were required to integrate into Acholi society. Integration also assumed the resumption of traditional courtships, relationships and family life; and the expectation that the women remain silent about their experiences.


Kanyo, Love  is an effort to understand the interior experience of post-conflict, social integration by capturing the ways that 36 former wives of the LRA combatants find love and experience courtship after the war. The work includes testimonies and portraits.  


The stories that the women tell present a critique of the silencing of love in the story of forced marriage and abduction that are superimposed onto the women. While simultaneously, it presents a portrait of the social and cultural repercussions of war, what it means to rebuild a society and the particulars entailed in remaking an individual life.


Curator: Kara Blackmore


Exhibition: TAKS Center, Gulu, Uganda (2019); Alliance Francaise, Kampala, Uganda (2019)


Installation view: TAKS Center, Gulu 2019


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