The Land Grows People

NGOM PITO DANO / THE LAND GROWS PEOPLE

 

Ngom Pito Dano is an Acoli expression - ngom translates to land, but in addition to the soil, ngom also implies settlement, tenure regimes, and social organization (Oloya 2015: 233): sociality itself. The English translation is “the land grows people”.  

 

This portrait series emerged in 2012 when families, finally back in their home villages after two decades of war and mass internal displacement, requested portraits of themselves posing on their ancestral land in the Padibe Subcounties, Lamwo District, Northern Uganda.

 

 

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Lara Rosenoff Gauvin: I  have been a visitor to Northern Uganda since 2004, when the war between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government was still raging. This portrait series is my third photo project since that time, and emerged in 2012 when I was living with Acan Almarina and Omono Justo Langoya, pictured above, finally back in their home village of Pabwoc-East after a decade of displacement. I was there learning about how individuals and communities in rural areas were ‘moving on’ after war and displacement for my PhD research in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.