Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Shortlist, Nike Prize 2010
Fleeing the aggressive reach of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and their brutal leader Joseph Kony, on an average night in northern Uganda tens of thousands of children head for the city centers to avoid capture. They find refuge on the floors of aid agencies or in the streets. In recent years, the civil society was almost completely destroyed by the LRA, itself made up almost entirely of kidnapped children. Piecing together what has been broken is proving to be a nearly impossible task.
Polish journalist Wojciech Jagielski inserts himself into this hellish landscape and finds a way to speak of these children and their wounded world. In The Night Wanderers, Jagielski shows his readers the horror of children who have been abducted from their homes and forced to kill their own family members; children who, even after they have escaped the LRA, carry the weight of their own acts of murder on their young shoulders. Jagielski portrays Uganda through their eyes as well as his own.
Carrying on the rich tradition of Ryszard Kapuciski, Jagielski digs himself deep into the Ugandan landscape and emerges with a compassionate, incisive, painful, magisterial account of a world that is just starting to pull itself out of the horrors of war.
Read an excerpt on Issuu here