Stella Nyanzi's Poetry of Protest in Uganda : Rough Translation After a Ugandan scholar is suspended from her university job, she discovers a new tool for resistance: extreme public rudeness. Will it work against a strongman president?
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Radical Rudeness

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Radical Rudeness

Radical Rudeness

Radical Rudeness

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Stella Nyanzi, an academic, activist and poet, interacts with supporters inside court on February 20, 2020 in Kampala, Uganda. Luke Dray/Getty Images hide caption

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Luke Dray/Getty Images

Stella Nyanzi, an academic, activist and poet, interacts with supporters inside court on February 20, 2020 in Kampala, Uganda.

Luke Dray/Getty Images

This episode includes vulgar and explicit language that is sexual in nature.

In Uganda, NPR correspondent Eyder Peralta introduces us to Stella Nyanzi, a feminist activist, poet and academic. Fed up with what she calls government enabled endemic corruption and conventional approaches to expressing dissent, she discovers the way to get attention and build an audience around her fight against dirty politics is to get dirty herself.

She lobs personal attacks at the president, Yoweri Museveni, with elaborate curses, mockingly erotic poetry on Facebook, public nakedness, and other displays of "radical rudeness" in an effort to get under his skin.

Surprisingly, in the conservative, largely Christian nation of Uganda, this approach has gained supporters. Stella has received international recognition. But standing up to a strongman comes at a high cost to her and her family. Can Stella—and those she loves—accept the price? How low do you have to go to change things at the top?

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