Co-creating with Youth Artivists in Uganda: Authors of our Own Becoming

artivists 4 life, Leslie Robinson, Maria-Carolina Cambre


We as artists, activists and scholars examine identity and change processes within the Ugandan youth collective artivists 4 life. Dedicated to “creating for a better world” (motto) artivists 4 life are creating a new sense of sociability through the fusion of art and activism, leaving the margins to reposition themselves “at the center of the dynamic imagination of the African social landscape” (Durham 114). Using art in any necessary medium project members address issues of HIV/AIDS prevention and stigma, substance abuse and youth unemployment. Through their projects artivists 4 life are overcoming personal and collective circumstances and taking on responsibilities as proactive agents of communal change. Building on Asante’s notion of artivism and Sandoval’s differential consciousness this paper identifies a transformative pedagogical practice where critical consciousness emerges through collective action and artistic reflection. These processes have the potential to reframe experiences through counter-narratives authorizing youth to think and act otherwise.


African Youth; artivism; artistic research; consciousness; participatory; pedagogy; Uganda

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