Articles in the Opinions Category
Dance and Theatre, Issue 034 Jul '13, Opinions »
“There is a lot that needs to be done in the form of research and documentation of existing dance initiatives and styles. … Structures that support the growth of dance in Uganda as a whole will provide the much-needed impetus for the sector. … The health sector is also an area that can benefit from dance through body conditioning for injured people. … The utilisation of dance for other purposes, such as dance in education, is vital to the development of a sector that should have mass appeal due to the importance of cultural groupings.” Samuel Lutaaya has fresh ideas for the dance industry in Uganda.
Issue 034 Jul '13, Literature, Opinions »
Samson Ssenkaaba aka Xenson graduated in 1999 from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Makerere University majoring in graphic design and painting. Since then, his works have been shown in numerous exhibitions and fashion shows in Uganda and abroad. Read his poem ‘Art, that that…….’
Issue 033 Jun '13, Opinions, Visual Art »
“The enslavement of the African has persisted despite his desire for the liberties of capitalism. The oppressor and his kindred have continued to spread their greedy tentacles to engulf any outcrops of resistance. We cannot breathe the fresh air of liberty because the clever chameleon changes its spot like the dreaded HIV/Aids. These sound like chants straight out of the communist manifesto, but they are simply the lamentations of a hopeless artist whose every move forward has been checked by disparaging stereotypes. One would be quick to assume that art is the last frontier of resistance to this form of suppression and dominance. After all, it is what really defines a people’s existence.” Mzili speaks.
“As the eighth edition of the Wazo Talking Arts proved, while the expectation is of artists to be at the forefront of debate and to challenge the status quo, artists are also a product of their culture, religion, and politics; their work cannot be separated from their experience. In other words artists are human beings, artists can be frightened, and artists can be ideologically conservative or liberal. If there is one attribute that artists need to create meaningful, challenging, even great work in the face of possible censorship, then that attribute is courage.” Farida Nabalozi reflects on Censorship and the Arts in Uganda.
Dance and Theatre, Issue 030 Mar '13, Opinions »
“The 1970s were for Uganda the years when the lights started to go out. In the ranks of Ugandans who had fled the country, and who never made it out of the decade, and a big rank it was, dramatists were among the number. Soldiers appeared at the National Theatre in 1977 and dragged then director of the National Theatre, Byron Kawadwa from rehearsals. A military tribunal had in secret passed a death sentence on him and five of his colleagues.” AK Kaiza reflects on the recent history of theatres in Uganda.
Issue 030 Mar '13, Opinions, Visual Art »
“Politicians in the developed world understand the importance of culture in defining a people. So they support the museums, galleries, theatres and the other public cultural institutions. In Uganda, it is the opposite. The musicians, artists, playwrights and comedians are on their own. They work tirelessly propagating what is unique and definitive about their country.” Henry Mzili Mujunga speaks out.
Issue 029 Feb '13, Opinions, Special analysis, Visual Art »
Issue 026 Nov '12, Music, Opinions »
“Ancient African art was characteristic of realism and consciousness. Be it visual arts, music, literature, if you retrospectively gave it a thought you will realize that these two features were more or less the pillars that aesthetically sustained it; and the underlying reason why a lot of people will still say antique art still surpasses modern art. They dag into a wide range of topics that homed in on politics, romance, social science, and the likes (scruples of this are still apparent). Nonetheless, today I’m afraid I feel that what I comprehend as the true essence of art has been watered down.” Lutakome ‘FELIX’ Fidelis writes for startjournal.
Issue 025 Oct '12, Opinions, Visual Art »
“The series in this collection are meant to inspire Ugandans and well-wishers to think about giving a woman the opportunity to attend to Uganda’s problems for at least five years come 2016 in order for Uganda to recuperate as well as inspire the upcoming artists to have a new approach to depicting women in their artwork so that we give the women the kind of dignity they most deserve.” Visual artist Fred Mutebi writes for startjournal.
Issue 025 Oct '12, Opinions, Visual Art »
Renowned Batik artist Nuwa Wamala Nnyanzi has visited the Western Michigan University and writes for startjournal about his journey: “Our discussion touched so many areas of mutual interest. Applied art, the role of art in community development, art therapy, graphic design, textile art—especially batik—and a host of others. The discussion also touches on the centuries old debate of what is and what is not art? We seem to agree that art is best described and appreciated in a cultural context.”
Issue 024 Sep '12, Opinions, Visual Art »
Issue 024 Sep '12, Opinions »
The architecture of a place is a mirror to the political power structures of such place. Through its architecture a political regime defines itself vis-à-vis its citizens; it communicates its ideology to them in public space. So, if we assess the architectural philosophy of our political regime, it provides an additional perspective to our knowledge about the state of democracy in Uganda. Faisal Kiwewa writes for Startjournal.org.
Issue 023 Aug '12, Opinions »
“My suspicion is that we in Ugandan arts are chasing air. Are we producing art? There are financing mechanisms, gallery systems, dependence on expatriate markets, and educational systems that hold us back. But these are also precisely the challenges that should offend us enough to try and overcome them. We have had social turmoil for decades, through the 1970s, 1980s to the present. Are we using our talents to create entertainment rather than taking society to task?” Read David Kaiza’s essay presented at the first WAZO Talking Arts meeting in Kampala.
Issue 022 July '12, Opinions, Visual Art »
Ugandan visual artists want to help the slum-dwelling communities of Kampala to express their views artistically. Through creative media like painting, sculpture and printmaking the artists hope to start a dialogue on issues that affect the communities. Nathan Kiwere of the Uganda Visual Artists Association explains the slum art project.
Issue 021 Jun '12, Music, Opinions »
Rap music in Uganda can be traced back to the late 80s when Philly Bongole Lutaaya (RIP) performed his Nakazaana. During the last two decades numerous hip-hop artists have emerged on the scene, introducing new styles and coining genres like Lwaali, Luga-flow, and Uga-flow. Also, mainstream media has fallen in love with the celebrity artists; they sell newspapers, but are they connected to the hip-hop movement? Lutakome Felix analyses the recent history of hip-hop in Uganda.
“The first ever article I wrote for START Journal was about the contemporary dance scene in Uganda as I had experienced it. Quite a number of developments have taken place since that article; changes in educational institutions, genre crossovers, and reduced financial support to name a few matters that will be addressed in this update.” Samuel Lutaaya updates the readers on the state of contemporary dance in Uganda.
Issue 018 Mar '12, Opinions »
“I am convinced that it is not too late to use our rich cultural heritage and artistic minds to transform Uganda socially and economically. It can still be realized if we persist, mind our business, make use of the available creativity and, most importantly, dare to fail! I am calling upon those that are blessed with creativity and creative minds to dare: To fail, to flop, to move further, in the interest of paving the way for a creative and prospering Uganda.” Faisal Kiwewa of Bayimba Cultural Foundation writes for startjournal.org.
“As Ugandan artists, we must ask ourselves whether we should strive to make our work more relevant to our communities and if so, how. Some would argue that it is enough that the work is relevant to the artist, and if it is coupled with genuine creativity, will automatically become relevant to the rest of society. My hope is that we can all engage in this discussion of what art can and cannot do for us as individuals and as a society. The public debate on the value of the arts and humanities must become a deeper and more intelligent one.” Ugandan author Doreen Baingana reviews last year’s Dance Transmission.
Issue 017 Feb '12, Opinions, Special analysis »
Issue 016 Jan '12, Opinions, Visual Art »
“The time has finally arrived that Africa begin to look to Africa for answers. We are starting to think about making East Africa our market place. But we can not go far without drastically improving the quality of our products. For too long we have made inefficient production schedules and products. On the other hand, a myriad of questions are raised to which answers cannot be immediately found. Still, these questions must be asked and answered if our art is to grow into the cultural void in which we find ourselves.” Ugandan visual artist SANE reflects on the East African Art Summit.