The Gulu Project/Beatrice

A tale on the aftermath of civil war in Northern Uganda and some of its protagonists. Supported by a grant of VG Bildkunst. 2012-2014

Beatrice (28) was abducted at the age of 9 and spent close to 11 years in captivity. After serving some time as a babysitter for Joseph Kony’s children she was “married” to a high rank commander. She then received military training alongside other handpicked women, all wives of senior guerillas, to ensure that they would be able to protect themselves instead of being easy targets in the bush war. Beatrice fought on the frontline with a rocket-propelled grenade on her shoulder and a baby on her back. She suffered various bullet wounds including one that entered her womb and left her infertile.

After escaping she went to stay with her grandmother in their home village of Pajule but her grandmother attempted to kill her twice by setting fire to her hut, believing Beatrice as evil since her “husband” had killed Beatrice’s parents in an attack. Since last summer Beatrice has lived with her two children, Lucky, 7, and Obedi, 5, in Gulu. She was fortunate to find sponsors and is now enrolled in a tailoring course. It will take 2 years and there are already many tailors in Gulu, but Beatrice remains optimistic that things will somehow work out for her.