Shack Video Halls in Uganda as Youth Community/Literacy Learning and cultural interaction sites

Chapter Authors: George Ladaah Openjuru, Stella Achen


In Uganda, thousands of low-income people of various ages visit shack video halls to enjoy interpreted English language movies. In this study, we examined the learning and cultural interaction opportunities that occur in the production of and participation in watching interpreted movies. Using ethnographic methods, we interacted with those involved in creating the movies and with regular moviegoers to find out what they learn in this process and how this affects their daily lives. The findings show that the Vee-Jays (video jockeys) who mediate these English-language movies are excellent learning facilitators who review and understand the movies first before making it available in the interpreted format suitable to the community context and local youth’s understanding. The audiences who prefer the interpreted movies and they find it much easier to engage with and learn from them. We noted the learning potentials of the Vee-jays strategy of interpreting the movies and of the shack video halls as effective learning sites/centres/venues. In strongly recommending the use of this strategy, we also believe that the Shack video halls may serve as community learning sites for different community education initiatives that go on in urban areas, where these video halls are usually located.

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Pages 143–158
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