Category: Opinions

Liz Mbabazi Co-ordinator of the Kuonyesha Project during an artist info session.

A new dawn in arts funding in Uganda’s creative sector

Lack of funding and the ‘strings attached’ to donor funding scenarios continue to be-devil many creative projects by artists in the local communities. It is one thing to have a brilliant idea on paper and another altogether to be able to execute it as a result of the financial constraints or because of creativity being compromised by the many donor requirements. Dominic Muwanguzi attends an info session of Kuonyesha Arts Fund, that promises financial empowerment in the sector.

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Indian alley with director Dan Moss, Ashish Verma and Nicolas Fagerberg - Image: Imperial Blue

Imperial Blues: European-African co-production in the post-colonial era

Who has the right to make an “African film”? Can filmmakers who do not originate from the continent make such films that reference the continent? Who decides this? This an many more questions were raised during a conversation between Samuel Lutaaya Tebandeke (Ugandan filmmaker) and David Cecil (British producer) on British-Ugandan production Imperial Blue.

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The team working on their co-creation (image by Design Hub Kampala)

Four minds of Gender Equity – The making of a stop motion animation

What does a group of artists with backgrounds in different fields have in common when they come together to work on a topic as huge and as controversial as Gender Equity? Actress and creative mind Esteri Tebandeke reflects on a co-creation process initiated by Design Hub and Hivos.

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Jackie Akello

The money of Music in Uganda

There is a popular prevailing assumption that when you make a hit song, you break through and achieve lots of success. The reality is very sobering. Every music artist must have a side hustle or alternative streams of income other than recording and performing music. Acaye Elizabeth Pamela dives into the Ugandan music industry and speaks to some key players to investigate where the money is in music.

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Librettist Simon Njami giving direction to KAB18 apprentices. Image Startjournal

Curator: Friend or Foe of Art

There has been a raging discussion on the curatorial practice for the Kampala Art Biennale (KAB18) undertaken by internationally renowned curator, Simon Njami, on social media and international art platforms. The conversation emerged in the aftermath of the biennale with online art publications publishing a series of articles by international writers. Art Journalist Dominic Muwanguzi gives his opinion on the issue from a local perspective.

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Image: Modern Refugees, The difference between Africa’s refugees and their West counterparts was that there was hope behind the barbed wires.

Revitalising Ugandan Bark-Cloth – Concerns of the regime artist

Artist Fred Mutebi advocates for reviving the indigenous art forms. He is embarking on a new project using printmaking on 100% bark-cloth paper as an alternative surface. “Let us join our minds to strengthen Ugandan bark-cloth resumption by moving it from tradition to economics. The remaining elderly bark-cloth artisans need our support in their struggle of passing on skills to the youth.”

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Kagayi Ngobi (image fb profile)

Poetry of Memory is Voice, Not Words

“When the late Joseph Walugembe was still the Director of the Uganda National Theatre, he once explained to my friends and I of the Lantern Meet of Poets how our poetry was different from that of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I recall him emphasizing how the memorized and dramatized performance of our poetry was the main ingredient. Up to that point I had never considered memorized oral expression of poetry even as aspects of poetry”. Kagayi Ngobi talks about his journey into poetry.

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Plate 2: Abstract image of Kampala made by Canon and hosted on his website. (http://www.urbanunkindness.com/)

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

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Plate 1 Damien Hirst, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1991. This artwork became a symbol for experimental Young British Art in the 1990s. Source: damienhirst.com

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.

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This was a grey Datsun Nissan Pickup truck, registration UYU 066. My Dad got this much later to fetch food from the farm on Jinja Road and take us back to various boarding schools. The moment in the picture was taken at Katwe on our way home to Makindye from the farm. This car’s family name was Kaddangadi.

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

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Fig. 10: Photo accompanying Julius Barigaba’s article in The East African published on 29 May 2011

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).

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Namutebi's entry that was the 1st runner up in the portrait category. - See more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1439884/vision-photographers-win-uppa-awards#sthash.A1TmcTbe.dpuf

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.

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Daudi Karungi, Martha Kazunga and Elise Atangana during the first preperatory Kampala Biennale meeting in 2016. Image by Lucie Touya.

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.

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‘But I wonder, why do we have to be so bothered about the challenges of being received abroad?’ – Q&A with curator Bisi Silva

Start: The 10th Photography Biennale: Bamako Encounter is celebrating photography as an artform. What are still some of those challenges photographers from the continent face to be accepted on the International scene?
Bisi: The 10th Bamako Encounters: African Biennale of Photography is the principal and longest running platform for the presentation of the work of African and African Diaspora photographers and artists to showcase their work to a continental and international audience.
But I wonder, why do we have to be so bothered about the challenges of being received abroad? What about the huge challenges of photographers being accepted across Africa? I think that is where we need to direct our attention.

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