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

[5 Apr 2017 | No Comment | ]
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 »

[5 Apr 2017 | No Comment | ]
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 »

[5 Apr 2017 | No Comment | ]
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.

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

[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 »

[2 Apr 2017 | No 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.

Featured, Interview, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[2 Apr 2017 | One Comment | ]
Global Connections: Elise Atangana on 2nd Kampala Art Biennale

By Moses Serubiri. The Kampala Art Biennale emerged in 2014, organized by the Kampala Arts Trust. It was billed erroneously as the “first biennale in Africa” in the Observer newspaper. Not surprisingly, the biennale was isolated from the Kampala Contemporary Art Festival – KLA ART, its predecessor in 2012. The Kampala Art Biennale premier edition, held at the Uganda Museum, was themed Progressive Africa, and its artistic director was artist-educator Henry Mzili Mujunga. While the first edition embodied a Pan-African spirit of artistic production, it contradictorily relied on the notion of “tourism”—one of the very funny comments I overheard at the opening was when a panelist compared art sales to gorilla mountain treks. Regardless, the biennale seemed to draw quite a lot of local press and drew in large crowds who came to see the Pan-African selection of artworks on display. This year, Moses Serubiri talks to the curator of the 2nd Kampala Biennale, Elise Atanganga.

Artist interviews, Featured, Film, Interview, New media, Visual Art »

[14 Dec 2016 | 2 Comments | ]
Ugandan Artists at the 2016 FNB Joburg Artfair (video)

Video about 3 Ugandan artists, Sanaa Gateja, Sheila Nakitende and Paul Ndema, who showed their works at the FNB Joburg Art Fair 2016. Video by Eric Mukalazi.

Art Education, Featured, Opinions, Photography, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[14 Dec 2016 | 2 Comments | ]
Kampala Art Biennale – Photo essay by Fiona Siegenthaler

The documentation and representation of an event is never objective but individual and biased. This is most apparent when you have the privilege of both, being a team member and an observer of a key art event like the Kampala Art Biennale. This is exactly the position I have: As a coordinator of the talks, I worked together with the small but highly engaged team on our aim to make the Kampala Art Biennale the best possible event and offer […]

Artwork critiques, Featured, Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Opinions, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[14 Dec 2016 | No Comment | ]
Art and the “Ghost” of “Military Dictatorship”: Expressions of Dictatorship in Post-1986 Contemporary Ugandan Art

By Angelo Kakande. Although military dictatorship has distorted governance, the rule of law and constitutionalism, and caused fear, hopelessness, loss of life and property throughout Uganda’s post-colonial history, it is also a rich and productive metaphor whose visual expression is steeped in a corrupted Western concept[ion] of modern public opinion. In this article I engage this proposition to re-examine selected artworks in the context of Uganda’s socio-political history in the period 1986-2016 – a period of Uganda’s history dominated by the ruling National Resistance Movement (also called the NRM).

Featured, Opinions, Photography, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[14 Dec 2016 | No Comment | ]
Seeking that Coveted Photography Award

By Miriam Namutebi. I am a photographer. I love what I do. My journey in photography started when I excelled in my senior six examinations at the age of 18. My Dad rewarded me with a Fuji Film S200EXR camera. Up to today, I don’t know what led him to that choice for a gift. I immediately started using my camera and every photograph I took introduced me to a new world. I loved that.

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

[14 Dec 2016 | No Comment | ]
On the Role of Curatorial Assistant, Kampala Art Biennale 2016

By Martha Kazungu. In August 2016, during a meeting where I was invited to be part of the team to share ideas on how to re-establish and run the Start Art journal, artist Margaret Nagawa, who is also the pioneering person in the effort to revamp Start Art Journal, suggested to me to develop a short narrative essay talking about my role as Curatorial Assistant in the 2016 Kampala Art Biennale.

Artwork critiques, Featured, Review »

[13 Dec 2016 | No Comment | ]
‘Dads’ – Report on Dads photography exhibition at the National Theatre

By Philip Balimunsi. This article summaries the experience of audiences to the Dads exhibition and their general response collected through comments. Further still the article seeks to analyse the exhibition development process and the reaction of viewers in relation to the topic of positive masculinity. Providing a platform to future festival visual conversations, the photography exhibition idea was developed between Bayimba International Festival of the arts and the Swedish Embassy in Kampala to contribute to the greater festival conversation of 2016.

Creative techniques, Featured, Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Visual Art »

[12 Dec 2016 | No Comment | ]
Kiln Remodeling and its Use with Bizen-like Pottery Firing Techniques

This paper presents the practical processes of remodeling and using a kiln in the Ceramics studio at the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine arts, Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The effectiveness of a kiln is dependent on its design, ability to preserve heat by minimizing heat loss, and the capacity to be economical with fuel. The kiln in the ceramics department used waste oil for firing. During my postgraduate studies spanning 5 years in Japan, I studied and worked with wood kilns – building them and firing in them. Upon returning to Uganda in 2015 with this experience, I was able to identify some of the problems associated with Makerere Art School’s waste oil fired kiln and its hardships.

Art Education, Artist interviews, Collaborative Art Project, Featured, Goethe Zentrum Kampala, Headline, New media, Special analysis, Uncategorized, Upcoming events »

[2 Dec 2015 | One Comment | ]
transFORM#1: A conversation with Afriart Gallery Art director Daudi Karungi

The transFORM #1 Contemporary Art Experience is happening this Saturday 5th December at a warehouse behind the Nakumatt in Bukoto. The event, which is organised in partnership with the Goethe Zentrum Kampala, is widely advertised in the media as an art experience with exhibition and after party with South African DJs. Startjournal met with the organiser Daudi Karungi to find out what was the rational behind the event.

Artist interviews, Featured, Headline, Uncategorized »

[11 Nov 2015 | Comments Off on Transcending the Proverbial box – Q&A with Jackie Karuti | ]
Transcending the Proverbial box – Q&A with Jackie Karuti

Jackie Karuti was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and has in recent years gained positive attention for her experimental, conceptual work using new media. She explores themes of death, sexuality, identity, space and urban culture using installation, video and performance art as well as mixed-media work. Karuti has exhibited and participated in workshops and residencies in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands, Uganda and the USA. She has also collaborated with other artists in various film, photography and academic […]

Featured, Interview »

[3 Nov 2015 | Comments Off on East African art market ready for International recognition – Q&A with Circle Art Agency Director, Danda Jaroljmek | ]
East African art market ready for International recognition – Q&A with Circle Art Agency Director, Danda Jaroljmek

The Circle Modern and Contemporary East African Auction follows the lead and success of London based Bonhams and Nigeria based Arthouse Contemporary auctions which have staged regular art auctions in a bid to build the emerging African art market. The Circle auction, the only one in East Africa; has transformed the art scene in Kenya, creating enormous interest in East African art regionally and internationally.

Danda Jaroljmek, Founder and Director, Circle Art Agency confirms that this has enabled a gain of […]

Featured, New media, Review »

[14 Oct 2015 | Comments Off on Glass mirrors Stacey Gillian’s triumphs and despair | ]
Glass mirrors Stacey Gillian’s triumphs and despair

By Samuel Kiwanuka

The Kampala contemporary art scene is increasingly becoming exciting. Artists’ niche to experiment and innovate with new media now facilitates them to convey different forms of visual narratives to their audiences through interaction with the artwork. By building installations in public space created from glass and mixed media, Stacey Gillian conjures a visual discourse that is both personal and intimate. The soft spoken artist’s works evolve around her personal experience of joy, triumph, pain and despair. She’s also […]

Featured, Special analysis »

[22 Sep 2015 | Comments Off on Faceless Figures, White Cut-Outs | ]
Faceless Figures, White Cut-Outs

What happens to Fanon’s followers during liberation? In what condition is Fanon’s nativism when revolution gives birth to independence from the terror of colonialism? How does Fanon translate to the cultural and economic development of present day Africa? Serubiri Moses turns to Eria Solomon Nsubuga’s recent exhibition for answers.

Artist interviews, Featured »

[16 Sep 2015 | Comments Off on Another Roadmap Cluster to impact on art education on the continent- Q&A with Wolukau-Wanambwa | ]
Another Roadmap Cluster to impact on art education on the continent- Q&A with Wolukau-Wanambwa

Emma Wolukau: The Another Roadmap Africa Cluster are a group of scholars and practitioners of artistic and cultural education, working across the African continent, who have come together to pursue a joint programme of research into arts educational practice in Africa that is critically informed and grounded in historical analysis. The group’s aim is to produce and to share knowledge about and through artistic and cultural education in Africa, and to make this knowledge available both across the continent and worldwide.

Featured, Special analysis, Uncategorized »

[1 Sep 2015 | Comments Off on Duplicating Fabian Mpagi’s, the thinker, by Waddimba spurs controversy | ]
Duplicating Fabian Mpagi’s, the thinker, by Waddimba spurs controversy

The next big story in the Uganda contemporary art scene could be the duplicating of the painting, the thinker, by Edward Waddimba. The thinker (1993) is a series of paintings composed of a stoic human figure squatting with a hunched back with its right elbow almost supporting its right chin to create an impression of someone in a pensive mood. This painting originally painted by, Fabian Kamulu Mpagi, one of the masters of modern and contemporary art in Uganda, was duplicated in 2008 by Waddimba his former protégé.