[Posted by start | 9 Jan 2015 | One Comment | ]
Q&A with Curator Simon Njami

“Contemporary artists working on the African continent should concentrate on their soil. Dig it. Find its treasure and secrets and come up with something that will shake the world.”

Startjournal talks to Simon Njami, Independent Curator of contemporary art, Lecturer, Art Critic and Novelist about some contentious issues currently dominating discussion about contemporary African art.

Read the full story »

Featured »

[Posted by start | 14 Jan 2015 | 2 Comments | ]
Introducing Dominic Muwanguzi: The New Startjournal Editor

Today we’d like to introduce you to the new editor of Startjournal.

But first… a little backstory.

”START – A Journal of Arts and Culture” is a Kampala-based journal covering visual arts, performing arts, literature, music and other creative possibilities on the African continent . Start has been published four times as a printed magazine between 2007 and 2010, and has been online since December 2010.







The first 3 printed editions of StartJournal (2007 – 2010)

The magazine was the brainchild […]

Featured, Issue 044 - KLA ART 14, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 20 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]
Mapping Kampala with KLA ART 014

By Elizabeth Namakula
KLA ART 014 was a far cry from the sophisticated and outdoor festival of 2012. The two festivals showed a progression from neat and tidy exhibits within shipping containers to multi layered commentary on informal living.
This year’s festival included contemporary artists from Uganda and Uganda’s neighbouring countries, exploring the theme Unmapped, and asking the question, who are the unheard voices of our cities and how can the unseen urban dwellers be represented and celebrated?

In the Gallery

Strips of coloured […]

Featured, Issue 044 - KLA ART 14, Photography »

[Posted by start | 16 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]
An Exhibition of the Un-Recognised

The selection of artists was diverse, alongside the more prominent names from the continent, such as Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo and Helen Zeru, there were also some less familiar local artists. Some of these practitioners were previously un-recognised as ‘artists’ and even some of the more familiar names had appeared dormant in Uganda for most of the last decade, well at least in the public’s eye.

- Issue 042 Kampala Art Biennale, Featured, Opinions »

[Posted by start | 20 Aug 2014 | One Comment | ]
Art, Culture and Tourism – Need for Integration?

For a country like Uganda looking for ways of creating a sustainable tourism product, developing a synergy between culture, arts and other sectors of the economy is crucial.

- Issue 042 Kampala Art Biennale, Featured, Opinions »

[Posted by start | 15 Aug 2014 | One Comment | ]
Vernacular Contemporary Art as a Manifestation of ‘Glocal’ Personality?

The works submitted for the inaugural Kampala Biennale left me thinking, confirming, some assumptions I have, and made me continue contemplating the realities, expectations and dreams of what it is to be an artist in our time. How do we link to times before ours and those which are yet to come?

Bayimba, Issue 041 Public vs. Private, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 10 Aug 2014 | One Comment | ]
Bayimba – Mbale

The reduced numbers at the 2014 Eastern Regional drew a lot of comparison with previous festivals. This contrast could be made between last year’s performers and those of 2014, yet their disparity is not based on regional descent; rather, on popularity.

- Issue 042 Kampala Art Biennale, Editorial Notes, Featured, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 1 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]
Issue 042 – Kampala Art Biennale

Biennale, Biennale, Biennale. Like a war-cry, the artist of Africa have something to say. This time they will be shouting out from the streets and galleries of Kampala. In a push to showcase Kampala on the global arts agenda, a group of established artists teamed up with national government bodies, media specialists and city authorities to bring a Biennale to East Africa’s arts castaway. Sure, Nairobi is the known hub for contemporary arts in the region, but it was actually […]

Creative techniques, Featured, Issue 041 Public vs. Private, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 5 Jul 2014 | Comments Off | ]
The Lubare and The Boat: Alexander MacKay’s Spirit Rises at Deveron Arts

On the weekend of June 14-15, two contrasting cultures came together under the umbrella of art to celebrate the life and times of Scottish explorer and missionary Alexander MacKay, who devoted his life to journeying through Uganda. Ugandan artists Sanaa Gateja, Xenson, and art curator Violet Nantume joined forces with Deveron Arts in Rhynie, Scotland, for a two-day event filled with creative activities centred on cultural integration.

Bayimba, Issue 041 Public vs. Private, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 1 Jul 2014 | Comments Off | ]
Bayimba – Fort Portal

Nestled behind tea-matted hills with a reputation for cleanliness, Fort Portal is culturally self-contained, even resistant. For the success of the festival, Bayimba partnered intricately with the community to develop workshops, a brass band procession, a boda boda art exhibition.

32º East Writer in Residence, Featured, Issue 041 Public vs. Private, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 25 Jun 2014 | One Comment | ]
Finding Solace in the West

As persistent pleas are made to artists to create art with local significance the artists are caught up in a web of conflicted interest. On the one hand, they want to break away from the mould of Western art history bestowed onto them by university art education.

32º East Writer in Residence, Featured, Issue 041 Public vs. Private, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 4 Jun 2014 | Comments Off | ]
Swings and Roundabouts in Masaka

The duo had a call from 32? East to “work in dialogue”. This involved the artists pushing boundaries of their art in the community and experimenting with a diversity of media and techniques.

32º East Writer in Residence, Creative techniques, Featured, Issue 041 Public vs. Private, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 1 Jun 2014 | One Comment | ]
From the Garbage Bin to Interactive Art

This collaboration between The Garbage Collectors project 2014 and Ugandan environmental artists is representative of socially conscious art. As such, it gives artists an opportunity to work with a variety of media and technique, at the same time extending their work to the public.

Editorial Notes, Featured, Issue 041 Public vs. Private »

[Posted by start | 1 Jun 2014 | Comments Off | ]
Issue 041 Public vs. Private

The tension between public and private forms of art marks part of the identity crisis that defines making, exhibiting, performing and selling. Do we need to tick the public box to be relevant? How does the diaspora receive the references to home? What constitutes public and private in an arena where everyday life in the streets could be seen as an artistic performance? Are visual artists only making for the foreign buyer? These are all questions to be […]

Featured, Issue 040 Gender & Sexuality, Literature, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 19 May 2014 | Comments Off | ]
Telling our Stories – A review of Invisible: Stories from Kenya’s Queer Community

By: Kampire Bahana

This petite and easy read is a testament to the importance of telling our own stories. We usually talk about this in reference to being African; outsiders have been telling our stories since before the days of Heart of Darkness, a book published more than a hundred years ago that continues to define the continent in the minds of many. Today we have movie stars like George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Ben Affleck, testifying in front of American […]

Bayimba, Music, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 30 Apr 2014 | One Comment | ]
Bayimba – Gulu

Bayimba Gulu was dynamic and full of culture. Raymond Omerio Ojakol was there to cover it.

Artwork critiques, Featured, Issue 040 Gender & Sexuality, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 29 Apr 2014 | Comments Off | ]
Double Lives, No Future

The philosophy of Double Lives is clear: when two planes of the mind are combined a third plane emerges — reconditioning identity.

Featured, Issue 040 Gender & Sexuality, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 20 Apr 2014 | One Comment | ]
Britain Loves Africa: Portraits of Culture and Intimacy

The photographic project Britain Loves Africa by Campbell attempts to give viewers a domestic insight into the homes of couples living in East Africa of whom one partner is British and the other African. With these images she raises a subject that would normally be informally explored, in conversation or gossip, and given it a platform for public debate.

Featured, Issue 040 Gender & Sexuality, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 17 Apr 2014 | One Comment | ]
Having Given it No Thought

We know that our thoughts are shaped by the world around us. We also know that the world is cruel towards women. Thus, in ‘not thinking’ there is inevitably some kind of thought process. It is even more critical with regards to political artist like Soi.

32º East Writer in Residence, Featured, Issue 039 Inspiration, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 15 Apr 2014 | Comments Off | ]
Ham Mukasa Archive Meets Contemporary Visual Art

The future appropriation of this archive proves that the archive is never closed. It is, in fact, open and reworked by contemporary visual artists.

Featured, Issue 040 Gender & Sexuality, Tackling Texts »

[Posted by start | 8 Apr 2014 | Comments Off | ]
Tackling Texts 2014 – Sessions 1 & 2

Review By Moses Serubiri on Nudity at Tackling Texts

On 19 February 2014, a meeting of artists, art lecturers, students and arts managers convened at the Makerere Art Gallery for the year’s first Tackling Texts, a forum to engage African art theory. The text to be tackled was Part I of Angelo Kakande’s essay, Nudity: Is it Artistic Expression and Free Speech?, as published in START Journal. Kadande argues the concept of nudity through various lenses: nudity as the right to […]