THE LOCAL CREW
weDub is supported by a core group of male teenagers that frequent a local youth center called TLC (Treasure Life Youth Centre) in the urban slum area of Kamwokya. During the development of the project, Pius, Venas, Bashir, and Shafic were reluctantly pulled from school because of family economic hardship; their younger siblings were kept in school in their stead. Despite this, these youths have taught each other and made multiple circuits collaboratively.
Through a series of designed ethnographic exercises and developing on-the-ground contacts, I came to learn more about the VJing phenomenon through working with a youth center mentor at TLC, Pius Kadapao.
While weDub is a team effort, the project could not have happened without the close collaborative workflow that exists between myself and Pius Kadapao.
Pius has been instrumental in organizing and facilitating them the many VJ performances and prototype testing. With his leadership and local knowledge of Kampala, the project has a strong foundation within the community in which it serves. He is very much the heart and soul of the project.
THE ART OF VJING
In makeshift shacks all over Kampala, Ugandans consume media through the lens of a VJ who is energetically cutting in and out of a movie and performing interpretations over a microphone in the local language while the audience watches the movie on a TV screen. For Ugandans, the movie isn't about Brad Pitt's performance— it's about the VJ's style and localized reinterpretations.
The skill of VJing lies in the ability to quickly analyze foreign media and relate it to the local context of Kampala in real time. When a VJ performs, it is highly collaborative; he would repeatedly call out to the audience and the audience will chant back in unison.
VJing is a profession limited to a few wealthy businessmen who have built enough capital to buy a suite of electronic equipment. The weDub Project makes the technology behind the craft accessible.