[Posted by start | 3 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]
Ndema’s Last Supper Painting Immortalizes Pan-Africanism

The Last Supper is a subject that has been reproduced in art severally. Leonardo Da Vinci’s 15th Century mural painting of Jesus Christ and his disciples seated at table having a meal of bread and wine that came to be immortalized in early Christian literature as the Last Supper has since become a source of inspiration for many artists. The present day production of the Last Super however does not involve a figure of Jesus Christ and his twelve disciples at the holly banquet.

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

[Posted by start | 18 Feb 2015 | One Comment | ]
Atwork in progress

From February 9th to the 13th 2015, 21 fine art students, curators-to-be, and recent graduates participated in the AtWork workshop, equipped with two small moleskine notebooks. One book was reserved for ideas, question, and notes and the second for executing their interpretation to the question, “should I take off my shoes?” They worked under the direction of Simon Njami, with the support of Dr. Lillian Nabulime and Dr. George Kyeyune from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts.

Featured, Review, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 11 Feb 2015 | 2 Comments | ]
Totems of Uganda: A tribute to Ganda culture

A creation of Taga F. Nuwagaba and co-written by Nathan Kiwere, Totems of Uganda is a full-colour illustrated book with totemic species and accompanying stories of the same. The book captures Central Uganda’s cultural history and translates all totems in over seven languages. It links the totems with their visual representations so that they can be widely identified, especially by the younger generation.

Artwork critiques, Featured, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 3 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]
Demystifying African art Primitivism on Global art scene

The debate whether African art belongs in Global Exhibitions is one that dominates many art forums across the continent and beyond today. Artists, in a bid to assert their position in this era of globalization and emerge as international citizens have continuously produced artworks that tackle global themes like Environmental conservation, Recycling, Consumption , Material culture, Corruption, Gender & Sexuality and Feminism.

Featured, Opinions, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 28 Jan 2015 | 4 Comments | ]
Music to the ears

Recently I was listening to this ballad by Fela Anikulapo Kuti where he asserted that it is in the Western cultural tradition to carry sh*t. That Africans were taught by European man to carry sh*t. Dem go cause confusion and corruption’. How? Dem get one style dem use, dem go pick up one African man with low mentality and give him 1 million Naira bread to become one useless chief.
Artist Henry Mzili Mujunga speaks his mind about interference within the art scene in Africa.

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.

Artist interviews, Featured, Issue 045, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 9 Jan 2015 | 5 Comments | ]
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.

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.

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

[Posted by start | 15 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]
Photo Currency: Images of Kampala’s Unmapped

The bodaboda project manifests the “unmapped” theme by bridging the gap between its audience and the artwork. It achieves this by taking public art to the public. Participating artist, Papa Shabani shared his excitement about the opportunity to interact with people and to have his art be part of a unique experience that has been relished by the public.

Issue 043 Bayimba International Festival of the Arts, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 11 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]
Bayimba Comes of Age

When programming, we extensively discuss how you, our audience would experience the festival, the final product. “However programming our annual festival is a creative process, of equal importance as the final product in itself. It is a process of experimenting and exploring, in close consultation and cooperation with both artists and partners we select.”

Bayimba, Issue 043 Bayimba International Festival of the Arts »

[Posted by start | 19 Sep 2014 | One Comment | ]
Issue 043 Bayimba International Festival of the Arts

Bayimba International Festival of the Arts, now in its seventh edition, continues to provide more for its expanding audience. This year’s program has two performance stages, yoga classes, experimental music as well as a discussion about artist rights. The visitors come annually in the thousands to share in invigorating arts and culture. Behind the scenes workshops breathe creative life into up-and-coming artistic innovators. How does this festival continue to expand and innovate? Could it be that the Director, Faisal Kiwewa […]

- Issue 042 Kampala Art Biennale, 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, Opinions »

[Posted by start | 15 Aug 2014 | 5 Comments | ]
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 | Comments Off | ]
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 | Comments Off | ]
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 | Comments Off | ]
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 | Comments Off | ]
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.