Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | INVISIHIST event

Nasser Road, Political Posters in Uganda

Thursday 16 May 2024
No registration required
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden

About the event

As part of its 2024 lecture series, the INVISIHIST research project invites all faculty and students to a special event hosted on May 16th with Kristof Titeca, Professor at the Institute of Development Policy at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Professor Titeca’s presentation will discuss his latest publication: “Nasser Road, Political Posters in Uganda”

Nasser Road is nicknamed ‘Uganda’s Silicon Valley’, and is also a byword for creative and fraudulent paperwork; from identity cards to university degrees, a convincing replica of just about any official document can be acquired in Nasser Road. The book however mainly pays attention to one of the street’s most commercially successful products, a constantly-updated series of posters depicting politicians and well-known personalities as superheroes. These locally-created icons feature images of prominent figures such as Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden or Muammar Gaddafi, each transformed into RoboCop-like figures, ready for combat. The artworks are both decorative and political, telling the story of the common man’s struggle against the might of Western imperialism, with international villains celebrated as anti-heroes. In doing so, the publication unravels the various levels of meanings of the posters, and the ways in which they portray these ‘icons of dissent’.

Kristof’s publication is both an ethnographic exploration of the street producing the posters, as well as an art publication, presenting both the posters, and photographically documenting the street.

About the speaker

Professor Titeca’s work focuses on governance and conflict dynamics in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and relies heavily on field research. He is a regular contributor to a variety of media platforms, such as The New Humanitarian, Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, African Arguments, Al Jazeera, and many others.


This event is organised by the Invisible History of the United Nations and the Global South (INVISIHIST) research project under the leadership of Dr Alanna O’Malley, Associate Professor at Leiden University’s Institute for History. INVISIHIST looks to reveal and unravel the invisible histories of the UN, transcending the dominant Western perspective to recover the historical agency of Global South actors. The research will investigate how the UN has both facilitated and limited their role in shaping global order from 1945-1981. The project is funded by the European Research Council.

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