Monumental through Design, Identity by Definition: The Architecture of Uganda prior to Independence
Olweny, Mark R. O.
MetadataShow full item record
“Throughout history monumental architecture has been employed to embody the values of dominant ideologies and groups, and as an instrument of state propaganda.”1 To an extent however, the presentation or representation of national identity through architecture has been an invention of sorts, particularly in the former European colonies of Africa, where unified national identities has never existed. The function of this representation was twofold; firstly to provide a visible symbol of economic and political development, and secondly to provide a recognisable symbol to which people could eventually identify. This paper will explore the issues of ‘identity’ and ‘monumentality’ in relation to state architecture in Uganda particularly during the decade prior to its independence from Britain in 1962. The issue of identity arising from the notion that architecture can be used to communicate values, aspirations and ideologies, thus expressing a particular identity, with monumentality and monumental architecture defining architecture of high significance, and in most cases manifested through state buildings. These issues will explore in relation to three questions in particular; i) Why were these buildings constructed? ii) For whom were they built? iii) Who do they represent?