Decolonizing Architecture of Participation for the Uganda National Museum: Social Media Expressions of Ugandan Heritage Sites

Michelle Sengara, York University, Canada, Mary Leigh Morbey, York University, Canada, Maureen Senoga, York University, Canada, Mary Pat O'Meara, York University, Canada

Published paper: Decolonizing architecture of participation for the Uganda National Museum: Social-media expressions of Ugandan heritage sites

This research addresses the conceptualization and development of a Web 2.0/3.0 (Hussain, 2013) decolonizing social-media architecture of participation for the Uganda National Museum in Kampala. Having worked in partnership with the museum for several years, our current research, which is the focus of this paper, explores a collection of data from decolonizing vantage points: videoing and interviewing at ten Ugandan heritage tribal and memorial sites. It is imperative to document potential lost heritage of the sites and, through oral interviews, capture the oral culture and untold stories of people who have lived their lives in the shadows of these sites. Hence, the core question of this paper is: how do we capture and re-represent through digital formats Ugandan voices and potential lost Ugandan heritage, both physical and oral?

In 2014, we faced the question of how a Global South national museum might envision contemporary and culturally relevant Web 2.0/3.0 social-media participatory architectures with a meaningful interface, for the re-representation of tribal heritage sites and the oral culture that embodies them. In light of decolonizing notions and the colonizing history of Uganda, Web re-representation and education require careful attention to ideological visioning and Web 2.0/3.0 conceptualization. Information communications technology, and particularly Web 2.0/3.0 innovations, holds the potential to change and enhance how a museum presents itself and the culture it embodies and represents (Bowers, 2000, 2006; Lessig, 2002; Marcus, 2002, 2006; Morbey, 2006, 2009; Morbey et al., 2012; Parekh, 2000).

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