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[5 Nov 2017 | One Comment | ]
There is little I can say about Canon that he would agree with

Canon should be described as an artist before a photographer. From both his art and being in his company it is undeniable that he is one of the most uncompromising people I have ever met. Attempting to present Canon has proven to be the most challenging part of a longer study on Kampala’s urban photographers and artists and I feel that it is necessary to disclaim the highly subjective nature of my attempts to do so. – By Alex L. Rogerson

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

[4 Nov 2017 | No Comment | ]
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, Goethe Zentrum Kampala, Opinions, Review, Special analysis »

[4 Nov 2017 | No Comment | ]
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 […]

Featured, Opinions, Photography, Special analysis »

[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, […]

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 […]

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 | Comments Off on Art and the “Ghost” of “Military Dictatorship”: Expressions of Dictatorship in Post-1986 Contemporary Ugandan Art | ]
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 | Comments Off on Seeking that Coveted Photography Award | ]
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 | Comments Off on On the Role of Curatorial Assistant, Kampala Art Biennale 2016 | ]
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.

Featured, Opinions, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[28 Jan 2015 | 3 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.

- Issue 042 Kampala Art Biennale, Opinions »

[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 »

[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?

Featured, Issue 039 Inspiration, Opinions »

[25 Feb 2014 | Comments Off on A “To Do List” for Uganda’s Creative Cultural Sector | ]
A “To Do List” for Uganda’s Creative Cultural Sector

Opinion piece by Faisal Kiwewa

The current state of Uganda’s creative cultural sector is far more vibrant and visible than what generations in the past have ever seen.

It is today that we see the youth coming together to realize their creative ideas and express themselves through different art forms; we see individuals passionately embracing talent with a pure mind that art is not a joke, rather a profession. A piece of this momentum is in new arts organisations that are forging […]

Featured, Issue 038 Education, Opinions, Special analysis »

[20 Jan 2014 | Comments Off on Lasting Reflections from Lubumbashi | ]
Lasting Reflections from Lubumbashi

I continue to reflect on Lubumbashi and feel affirmed that discussions, spaces and documentation is the way to make the little we have into something bigger and better.

Issue 037 Nov '13, Opinions, Special analysis »

[20 Nov 2013 | 3 Comments | ]
Lost in art, alien in our world

Over the last two decades specific diaspora curators (and theorists) of contemporary African art have become preoccupied with nationalism. Academic minds have tried to explain the internal-external dislocation experienced by the artist. However, the theoretical and thick the arguments do not address this fundamental ‘street’ or self problem.

Issue 035 Aug '13, Opinions »

[7 Aug 2013 | Comments Off on Opinion Piece Luganda: The Challenges of Inclusion | ]
Opinion Piece Luganda: The Challenges of Inclusion

By choosing to include everyone, Luganda has laid itself bare to abuse and insult.

Issue 034 Jul '13, Literature, Opinions »

[1 Jul 2013 | 4 Comments | ]
Endnotes of Chapter Two

“What is art? What is culture? If you are able to define it, then you know you are in trouble. How does Arts writing come into the picture? There is a myth that it is about judging something from very good to very bad, but the criteria for evaluating artworks are multi-dimensional.” Editor Thomas Bjørnskau writes his farewell note, and hands over Start to a new team.

Issue 034 Jul '13, Literature, Opinions »

[1 Jul 2013 | 4 Comments | ]
Half Man, Half Words

“If there is a truth to be admitted to, I will concede this one; it feels like truth, scabrous, incomplete and grudgingly accepted: being a writer is like going on being married. You arrive at a point in it where you no longer have the energy to learn to live with a new person and hold down your peregrinations.” An essay on writing by Ugandan writer AK Kaiza.

Film, Issue 034 Jul '13, Opinions »

[1 Jul 2013 | 5 Comments | ]
When Film Imitates Art

“I thought film was an art. … However, it was not long before I discovered that filmmaking is not an art. It’s an expensive hobby. It’s a business. It’s a science, because it relies on technology. It requires managerial skills, diplomacy in dealing with egos, and communication skills—because it’s a collaboration.” An essay on filmmaking by Ugandan filmmaker Dilman Dila.

Issue 034 Jul '13, Music, Opinions »

[1 Jul 2013 | One Comment | ]
A Mind of Its Own

“When I have been surrounded by gracious courteous musicians, the stage has always been a space of incredible intimacy. Those times when I have played in the orchestra have once or twice felt as though I was being swept up by a thunderstorm. You watch the notes lift off the page as you play them; suddenly the world disappears around you.” An essay on music, love and jazz by Serubiri Moses.