Bombo Road, Kampala

Ruth Kelly

Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York


This poem was composed and revised for the fortnightly poetry circle organised by Lantern Meet Foundation in Kampala, Uganda. It provides a sensual description of my experience of occupying ways of perceiving and being that are similar to those engaged in by the artists and activists I am working with in Uganda, namely negotiating Kampala traffic. The representation of love and risk also reflects the emotive and sensory backdrop against which ethnographic research is carried out.

Bombo Road, Kampala

Hesitate (.) one, two seconds longer,

cars streaming past, gaps must be

larger and an unfamiliar caution, […]


Ethnography; Uganda; Poetry; Sensory; Love; Traffic

Author contact: ruth.kelly [at]

Citation: Kelly, R., 2019. “Bombo Road, Kampala”, Irish Journal of Anthropology, 22(1), 7-9.