Uganda is the last nation in the Western African Union to have introduced obligatory identity cards. The deadline for mandatory registration of all Ugandan citizens over 16 years of age was the 27 of February 2015. The government has now began issuing identity cards which all citizens by law must have.
The “National ID project”, as it is named by the government of Uganda, started in 2009. The first identity card was issued in 2011 to the “four-time” President Yowery Kaguta Museveni.
Three years later, in 2014, only 400 identity cards had been issued. Many people, especially those living near to the politically unstable border, were very suspicious and did not want to be registered.
In the 90s Rwandan identity cards were issued by the Belgians including Hutu and Tutsi ethnic identification on the card, which ultimately played a role in the genocide that was to was.
Do you exist only because your name is written on a document? Is registration a right or a duty?
These pictures are printed from a scan of the negative images left on the peel-away backs of polaroids photos, developed with bleach. They have suffered from the random circumstances of travel; images of the subject often faded or indistinguishable as fate has decided.
I have gifted the people I have portrayed with the unique original polaroid prints, probably the last printed image of themselves before they will receive the identity cards. The work lives divided in two: half here and half there.