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12 Sobering Resolutions From A War Zone

Photographers Álvaro Laiz and David Rengel ask a simple question: "What are your future plans?" The answers are sobering and tragic.

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In Álvaro Laiz and David Rengel's photo series, "Future Plans", they have asked those directly affected by the conflict in northern Uganda for their goals in moving forward with their lives.

The war in northern Uganda began in 1986 and has been marked by the LRA's well-documented brutality against civilians, including the seizure of children to be used as fighters and sex slaves, and the widespread use of mutilation.

1. I would like a good house on my own land.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"In the LRA they beat me constantly because I couldn't understand their language, and when I came back my brother disowned me for bearing a child to the rebels. What choice did I have in both cases? Was it my fault?"


2. To obtain counseling and guidance.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"The only lives spared were those of children too young to be kidnapped and pregnant women, who were allowed to stay so that they would look after the children who could be kidnapped in the future. When they finished, we were obliged to clap. Only one year after they came back and took me"

3. The chance for my child to study.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"My father died of AIDS and my mother killed by the rebels. The worst were the long walks and pack mule carrying food between Sudan and Uganda. They forced me to marry an officer with whom I had two children."

4. To provide decent medical care and food for my children.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"I was abducted together with twenty other children in her school. After the first period, I was raped and bore my first child. I lost her left arm in a UPDF operation as a consequence of bullet wounds."

5. To have skills training and be self reliable.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"I would like to go back to school and give my children a better life than the one I had, but I don´t have any money".

6. The be able to afford basic needs.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"I had my first son when I was 15 years old. I got pregnant from a rebel. In 2004 I was already mother of three chldren. When I finally went back I had terrible times."


7. To build my own house on my own land.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"I remember beatings and rapes that took place almost everyday in an indiscriminate way, we had a really hard time but after moving to another town but we got over it little by little".

8. To take care of my grandchildren with education and land.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"Despite being a police officer, I had to flee when Idi Amin to power. I was persecuted for belonging to the Acholi ethnic group. One of my sons was captured and killed by rebels and my daughter died shortly after due to shock."

9. To establish my own tailoring workshop.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"We ambush UPDF near Mount Imatong. It was a slaughter. In Palabek we did the same, but they finally hit me in Koch. When they shot, I just had time to realize I didn´t have energy to run anymore, so I tried to hide myself deep in the bush, and then I collapsed in a dead faint. When I woke up I was surrounded by dead bodies. I felt no pain until I walked towards a near stream and saw how water fell down my chest when I realized I had lost my lower jaw"

10. I would like to continue vocational education.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"The night they came I was hidden in my school. As I was the younger one, they forced me to guide them to my family and friend's hideouts. One of them tried to escape. Then, they forced us to club him to death and slaughter him. They put his remains in a bag and then they left it in the middle of the path."

11. I would like to go back to school and to have my children attend too.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"I was 12 years old when I was abducted. I got to comand over 200 people. Sudan´s army provided us with weapons, uniforms, food... Everything. But after the Ion Fist operation of the Ugandan government, we were isolated. We attacked villages and devastated small towns to get food. I lost my leg in one of those skirmishes."

12. I want to help the people in my community.

Álvaro Laiz / David Rengel

"After being abducted, an official requested me for his house. He treated me fine, but soon Otti Logoni (one of the most brutal men in the LRA) threatened me with his gun and forced me to go with him.. I was only ten years old."

Álvaro Laiz and David Rengel are documentary photographers. To view more of their work, see their websites at and

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