[Posted by start | 11 Mar 2018 | No Comment | ]
African Art History and the Formation of a Modern Aesthetic

The research project “African Art History and the Formation of a Modern Aesthetic” examines artworks of African Modernisms housed in museum collections. This first set of contributions for Start – Journal of Arts and Culture is the result of a public symposium at the Uganda National Museum in 2016 held as fringe event of the Kampala Art Biennale. In the coming months, the series will be continued with papers on a variety of topics related to African Modernisms and its contemporary relevance.

Read the full story »

Academic Articles, African Modernisms Series, Featured, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 11 Mar 2018 | No Comment | ]
The Meaning of Contemporary African Art: Networks, Mobility, and Production

In this article Moses Serubiri presents a short history of africa95, the Royal Academy of Arts initiated platform.  Using this exhibition as a case study for the development of a contemporary African art discourse, the paper raises questions about the subjective frameworks informing contemporary African art exhibitions, such as collecting of artworks, historical methodology, accessible networks, mobility, and the expansion of artistic discourses.

Editorial Notes, Featured »

[Posted by start | 24 Feb 2018 | No Comment | ]
Startjournal 2018: New Media, Channels and Connections – Editorial

The Journal has always aspired to be an indigenous-driven publication critically analysing and documenting contemporary arts and culture in Uganda. It would be even more valuable if the content of StartJournal is influencing the mainstream societal narratives. With this in mind we are now developing a larger communication strategy with the aim to connect the Startjournal content to other media. We foresee to increase the visibility of StartJournal content by pushing it to newspapers, news programs on TV and Radio and through social media channels.

Academic Articles, Featured, Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Nagenda International Academy of Art and Design, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 15 Feb 2018 | No Comment | ]
The Boda Moment. Positioning Socially-Engaged Art in Contemporary Uganda

In this article Carlos Garrido Castellano examines two socially engaged Ugandan art projects: the Disability Art Project Uganda (DAPU), and Lilian Nabulime’s AIDS sculpture. By analyzing both initiatives, I attempt to characterize a new moment in the relations between artistic practice and social intervention in the Ugandan context. I argue that projects such as DAPU and Nabulime’s are confronting the current Ugandan situation of economic and political transformation, marked by the weight of the informal and the challenge of a nation-based cultural sphere. Finally, I point out some similarities with other African socially-engaged art initiatives.

Creative techniques, Featured, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 15 Feb 2018 | No Comment | ]
In Transit: A sculptural response to Gaba landing site

As a sculptor and eco-artist, Sandra Suubi is interested in materials found in a particular space and how she can use them in the construction of sculptures. In this essay she describes how she constructed a sculpture along the shores of Lake Victoria in Gaba.

Artwork critiques, Featured »

[Posted by start | 13 Feb 2018 | One Comment | ]
Waswad Creates Extra-terrestrial Beings

If there is a Ugandan artist who can readily fit into the international art circuit, there is none other than Donald August Wasswa a.k.a Waswad. The contemporary art world is always looking for new ways of expression and Waswad fulfils this with his body of work exhibited at Afriart Gallery

Artist interviews, Comic Artist, Comics, Creative techniques, Featured »

[Posted by start | 13 Feb 2018 | One Comment | ]
So You Make Cartoons for a Living?  – 8 Career Lessons for Animators by Isaac Mugabi

By Isaac Mugabi

Isaac Mugabi at work

What is it like being an animator? Which skills does one need to thrive in the animation industry? These are questions I get asked quite often. Put simply; animation is drawings or images that appear to walk, talk and think. They are a series of images moving in time. Well, it’s more complicated than that, but that gives you the basic idea. Some people tend to think animation is about making cartoons, and that […]

Creative techniques, Featured, New media, Photography »

[Posted by start | 14 Nov 2017 | Comments Off on The Winner of Uganda Press Photo Award 2017- “An Example of Enterprising Journalism” | ]
The Winner of Uganda Press Photo Award 2017- “An Example of Enterprising Journalism”

The winners of the Uganda Press Photo Awards were announced at a ceremony held at The Square on Thursday, October 26, and the winners’ exhibition was launched at the same occasion. The exhibition is now open to the public, free of charge, at the Square and runs until November 26.

Collaborative Art Project, Dance and Theatre, Featured, New media, Review »

[Posted by start | 13 Nov 2017 | Comments Off on “Do Not Touch My Hair” – A performance Review of Chombotrope  | ]
“Do Not Touch My Hair” – A performance Review of Chombotrope 

During the Opening performance of ChomboTrope , the Jitta collective by Kefa Oiro and Stephanie Thiersch yesterday at OneTen on Seventh, it was clear that they had used their creation process to deliver a strong sense of agency with shared ownership and ‘authenticity’. 

Editorial Notes, Featured »

[Posted by start | 13 Nov 2017 | Comments Off on The art we make, the words we profess | ]
The art we make, the words we profess

It is almost a year since the rebirth of Start journal. Artists write about their work and that of other artists. Art historians theorise and contextualise art, locating the social and political circumstances out of which it arises. Exhibition reviews are invaluable, as are readers’ comments both digitally on the journal pages and in live conversations. Editor in Chief Margaret Nagawa gives an overview of what was published in the latest issue.

Artwork critiques, Featured, Opinions, Review, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 4 Nov 2017 | Comments Off on Why Damien Hirst is the greatest artist ever and why every artist should try to emulate him | ]
Why Damien Hirst is the greatest artist ever and why every artist should try to emulate him

“Why should an artist live and die as a pauper? Why would an artist be harshly criticized for making a living out of their gift? Why should an artist want to shift the laws of living? Why should artists not stand tall and say they want to be successful and rich?” These are the questions Matt Kayem asks himself.

Collaborative Art Project, Featured, Opinions, Review, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 4 Nov 2017 | Comments Off on Can Ugandan Artists Portray Ubuntu? | ]
Can Ugandan Artists Portray Ubuntu?

By Martha Kazungu

“Ubuntu is the missing link in the arts here in Uganda, the reason we are growing too slow! Both visual and performing arts. Some of us can’t even share an art brush.”  – Derrick Komakech, Ugandan artist

A photo showing the interior of the “Our Thing” installation by Nikissi Serumago and Darlene Komukama.

The LaBa! Art Festival took place on 27th May 2017 on Bukoto Street in Kamwokya, Kampala. Goethe-Zentrum Kampala (GZK) organized the festival. Eleven collective installations were exhibited […]

Artwork critiques, Creative techniques, Review, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 3 Sep 2017 | One Comment | ]
Ife Piankhi: A Language and Grammar of Healing

By Erika Holum

Ife Piankhi is a recent artist in residence at 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust. Working as a performance artist, singer, poet, and creative facilitator for over 30 years, Ife has recently ventured into a creative practice where her craft has taken visual form through a textured, multi-media approach to papier mâché and collage work, and the creation of bright and colorful mandalas. The material and spiritual elements embedded within Ife’s work create a semiotic grammar and visual […]

Artwork critiques, Comics, Creative techniques, Featured »

[Posted by start | 3 Sep 2017 | Comments Off on Encounters with Art: The Inaugural Children’s Book Illustrator’s Exhibition | ]
Encounters with Art: The Inaugural Children’s Book Illustrator’s Exhibition

Think back to that moment when you first realized the possibility of any art form. As a writer, I easily trace that back to reading as a child. I still believe that the worlds I explored through books, the lives I lived through books, have made all the difference in who I am and what I do as an adult. Gloria Kiconco attended the first ever Children’s Book Illustrator’s Exhibition at Design Hub Kampala.

Collaborative Art Project, New media, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 4 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on Ife Piankhi in Residence at 32° East | ]
Ife Piankhi in Residence at 32° East

Ife Piankhi is a recent artist in residence at 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust where she explored communal trauma, communal healing and identity through poetry, painting, woodwork and collage arts. Ife explored these themes and a variety of materials from May to July of 2017. She also hosted two community conversations to exchange stories and viewpoints concerning transatlantic slavery, personal stories of migration and where the possibilities for healing lie. A video by Nikissi Serumaga-Jamo.

Artist interviews, Artwork critiques, Featured, Film, Review, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 5 Apr 2017 | Comments Off on Mira Nair and the making of Queen of Katwe | ]
Mira Nair and the making of Queen of Katwe

By Kalungi Kabuye

Before Queen of Katwe, Mira Nair was probably better known as the director of the 1988 film Salaam Bombay, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In Uganda we first knew her for Mississippi Masala (1991), a story of an Indian girl whose family had to leave Uganda because of (their deportation by) then President Idi Amin. It was the first major film in Uganda’s modern history to be filmed in Uganda, and […]

Featured, Opinions, Photography, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 5 Apr 2017 | Comments Off on Katwe, a genuine pleasure | ]
Katwe, a genuine pleasure

By Annette Sebba

These and many more memories have been triggered by the 2016 Uganda movie, Queen of Katwe. I agree with Olly Richards of the Sunday Times, United Kingdom, that even with a clearly signposted ending, the movie still manages to offer surprises. Nair delights in Uganda, painting a country of many social contrasts and cultures to embrace possibility, and not poverty. Katwe, since 1962, has been a center of African ingenuity, where artisans, craftsmen, and technicians repair imported products, […]

Featured, Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Photography, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 5 Apr 2017 | Comments Off on Re-reading the Warps and Wefts in Trowell’s Mother and Child Print: Debates and Contests | ]
Re-reading the Warps and Wefts in Trowell’s Mother and Child Print: Debates and Contests

Margaret Trowell has been called the ‘mother of contemporary art in Uganda and a feminist’ (Tumusiime 2012). This is because in the mid-1930s she introduced the teaching of contemporary art at Makerere University and wrote widely on issues concerning family, women and children. On the other hand, she also created art though only few of her artworks are in Uganda. However, on my part I am interested in a lino print, entitled Mother and Child (1940s), whose visual archive I have accessed through George Kyeyune (2003) and Angelo Kakande (2008). The print captures a dominant sitting mother-figure wrapped in white cloth and nursing a child. Trowell’s print seems to suggest the earliest expressions of her self-activism to emancipate mothers and children through modern art. I re-read Trowell’s Mother and Child and its multiplicity of meanings. I re-engage it to retrace the threads of the colonial hegemony that wove together Trowell’s instruction of modern art in Uganda. This debate is essential. It sets the gendered pedestal on which contemporary art in Uganda was born and became interlaced with – to use Trowell’s words – ‘warps and wefts’ (Trowell 1957) This paper, therefore, marks our entry into the gendered discourses that have continued to shape Uganda’s modern art to the present.

Editorial Notes, Featured, Review, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 3 Apr 2017 | Comments Off on Editorial: Returning to the archive: It is still rich, accessible and usable! | ]
Editorial: Returning to the archive: It is still rich, accessible and usable!

This issue demonstrates that the available archive of the history of Uganda’s visual culture is still rich, accessible and usable. However, it could shape a conversation on the country’s creative discourse if (and only if) we looked at it again and looked at it hard enough. Dr. Angello Kakande gives an overview of the articles in this Feb – May 2017 Issue.

Bayimba, Dance and Theatre, Featured, Opinions, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 3 Apr 2017 | One Comment | ]
Bayimba turning 10yrs,  with a bit of pressure on determining what next!

by Faisal KIWEWA

Fig 1. Joel Sebunjo and Sundiata

This 2017, Bayimba is making 10 years of working and investing in the arts and culture in Uganda. This is really a great moment for all of us at the organisation and a bit of pressure on determining what more we have to achieve.

Whilst implementing our core programme and activities, this 10th anniversary is surely meant to help us reflect on our past efforts, evaluate our capacities, and put in place new […]

Featured, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 2 Apr 2017 | One Comment | ]
The Art of Appropriation: The Ready-made through the Eyes of Matt Kayem

Visual artist Matt Kayem explores the concept of found object art and appropriation in art and talke about his own installation at the Kampala Art Biennale. It makes everything look easy but it requires an eye for aesthetics, and a creative mind to choose an item to speak volumes. The process of selection is a tedious one as the artist has to think and look for an object that will best represent and communicate their concept.