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Ugandan Election Special: Dancehall Democracy versus Anti-Social Autocrats

It’s that time of the decade, kids, and once again the Ugandan electoral spectacle shows how to put the “fun” back into dysfunctional!
Here’s a rough guide to the dynamics of central Africa’s most exciting, explosive and explicit post-colonial state.

Dramatis Personae:

Museveni on Twitter


Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
• elderly president/autocrat;
• has held the presidency since 1986, when he took power in a civil war;
• is conservative and reactionary, ruling largely through a deep-rooted form of political patronage;
• immensely popular in rural areas and with many people over 30;
• may genuinely win the election, but is being so mean and violent in the run-up, we can be forgiven for thinking he actually fears losing this time.
• Music Skills: Terrible, with ponderous hit single “Do You Want Another Rap?”
• Catchphrase: “I will eat my enemies like samosas”

Bobi on Twitter

Robert Kyagulani, aka Bobi Wine
• handsome, young-ish Dancehall superstar (it’s a bit like Shaggy running for the US presidency);
• has been MP since 2017, and founder of the immensely popular “People Power” movement in Uganda;
• is broadly socialist in his speech, but has yet to articulate a coherent ideological position or set of policies;
• immensely popular with the youth and unemployed (which is most Ugandans) and Dancehall fans;
• may possibly win more votes than Museveni, and has the incumbent more than a little worried.
• Music Skills: One of the best pop artists in Africa, mixing traditional instruments with digital beats and on-point social messages, e.g. “Kyarenga”
• Catchphrase: “We are removing a dictator”

This little summary aims not to repeat the details you can find on Wikipedia or in the news. Instead, I wanted to take you on a little trip behind the headlines.

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Datacide Eighteen reprinted and available again

After being briefly out of print, Datacide Eighteen in available again. Get your copy now, or ,even better, consider taking out a subscription!

Datacide Seventeen reprinted and back in stock

Datacide Seventeen is now back in stock. After a few months out of print this issue has been reprinted.

Main features of this 17th issue of the magazine for noise & politics are Jo Burzynska’s interview with Cosey Fanni Tutti titles Memoirs of a Woman of Extreme Pleasures, Howard Slater’s article on Third Cinema Unparaphraseable Life, as well as the first English translation of Boris Souvarine’s Black October from 1927 about ten years of the Russian Revolution, here reprinted 100 years after the event. Plus many other contributions well worth reading.

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Digital Version of Datacide 18 is available now!

We have now produced a digital version of the current issue datacide eighteen. Its content is identical to the print edition, but some illustrations are in colour and some links are clickable. It’s ideal to read on your tablet or laptop.

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Our web site is blacklisted by facebook

If you’re using facebook you may have noticed that this very web site has been blacklisted. It is no longer possible to link to it from facebook, and all existing links have been removed. The Datacide page on fb still exists, so it’s not that Datacide per se has been banned. But when you try to set a link it claims that the site “violates community standards” or that it “includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive” (depending on how you try to set a link you get either of those “error” messages). The latter suggests that it’s the result of a campaign, and not a mistake by fb’s AI as we initially assumed. But this is speculation – no reason or cause has been given by facebook.

Links to datacide-magazine.com on facebook have been blocked for several weeks now – we and a number of people have filed complaints/error reports, but unsurprisingly these have been ignored by facebook. It’s a crass example of an intransparent and unaccountable Behemoth exercising censorship.

How bad is this for us? 

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