Örebro student awarded SIDA scholarship

Peder Bergenwall has been awarded a scholarship funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SIDA, to study film culture in Uganda. He is going to study how Uganda’s “video halls”, the country’s equivalent to our cinemas, are used and how they could be utilised to develop film production in Uganda.

Peder Bergenwall studies media and communication studies with a film studies profile at Örebro University, Sweden and was awarded a Minor Field Studies (MFS) scholarship from SIDA to do his degree project.

The underlying idea of the MFS programme is that benefits can be gained by changing perspective and the programme facilitates a knowledge exchange between different parts of the world. The holder of the scholarship is for a period of at least eight weeks able to study issues of significance to developing countries’ economic, social, political, or knowledge-related development.

– Uganda’s own film production is limited. I am going to study the video halls as a cultural and social phenomenon, how they work and in what ways people use them. Perhaps it is possible to integrate the concept used for video halls in order to develop the country’s film production, says Peder Bergenwall.

Started a blog

Peder has been in Uganda since the beginning of November and has started a blog to make it possible for everyone to share his experiences.

– There is a lot to get used to, things that are not related to my work. Time for instance has a different import to people here – I have had to slow down. And already from the start I took quite a liking to the food – Matoke, a yellowish-green mash of green bananas, has become one of my favourites.

– I have also met many interesting people. I have made good contacts with lecturers and researchers at Makerere University as well as with a local guide who comes with me to do interviews with filmgoers and owners of various video halls.

– Video halls are interesting from many perspectives in terms of what they have to offer the people and how they work, for example with translators, known as VJs, who translate the film simultaneously as it is being shown. It is incredibly nice and inspiring to have been given the chance to come here.

Text: Linda Harradine
Translation: Charlotta Hambre-Knight
Photo: Peder Bergenwall, Anders Liljenbring