Duc in Altum face books

80 pages | September, 2016

In the slide show with this page you find documentation of two book that were made in an edition of one. One of the two is large for a book, the other one is rather small. The books are related to the sixth publication in the Ebifananyi series.

Ebifananyi 6, Duc in Altum – St. Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK) is based on the photographs in the collection of the college and the Brothers of Christian Instruction who have been running the school since they took over from the white fathers in 1926. The large book shows more or less one on one sized reproductions of all the ‘Facebooks’ that were available in 2013, when Rumanzi Canon and I, as HIPUganda, started making digital reproduction at the school. Some of the collages were framed and hung on the walls of the Head Master’s office, the school’s administration office, the dormitories or the main hall. Some had lost their frame or were damaged and put in storage. When put in chronological order the faces and the designs around them speak beyond the individuals. They show, for instance, trends in school uniforms and the style of the person designing the ‘Facebook’.

I asked Mr. Kibuuka to go through the large format book with me and to tell me when he knows what became of the students he recognises. He is the school librarian and has been working at SMACK since 1969. The very small book is a collection of the faces he remembers, and words giving insight in how he remembers them.

St. Mary’s College Kisubi is the oldest Catholic school for boys in Uganda. It has, throughout its existence, maintained high standards and a good name. Going to ‘SMACK’ was and is only an option with very high exam grades from primary school. This school bred and breeds doctors, lawyers, engineers and politicians. These books are not only exhibition pieces, but also part of ongoing attempts to understand the use of these ‘Facebooks’ and what it is they show us as time progresses.

Ebifananyi 6 was launched on August 22nd, 2016 at the Writivism festival in Kampala. An accompanying exhibition took place at the Uganda Museum. Both books are part of another exhibition in Biel, Zwitzerland.