Thursday, 18 Jul 2024
Author: start

Sidney Kasfir speaking at a symposium at Makerere School of Fine Art & Design in 2014. Image by Fiona Siegenthaler

Sidney Kasfir – a selfless researcher and educationist

In 2013, I won a coveted Fulbright Fellowship to spend the winter semester at Emory University, USA. I shared my excitement with my PhD supervisor, (1999-2003) Prof. John Picton. I told him that Professor Sidney Kasfir was going to be my mentor and John’s remark was, ‘you are very lucky because Sidney is a very intelligent and devoted scholar.’ Dr. George Kyeyune remembers professor Sidney Kasfir


Professor Sidney L. Kasfir (left). Image from

Weeraba Sidney Littlefield Kasfir – Goodbye Sidney Littlefield Kasfir

It was indeed a sad moment when Kasfir concluded her earthly life. She completed her mission of researching and formally constructing contemporary African Art History. It was a journey that she started way back in 1967 in Uganda, where she worked as a managing director of the Nommo Gallery. It was a day to reflect on the different encounters many of us in Uganda had with her, the moments we shared with her. Kizito Maria Kasule reflects.


Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Makerere University, Kampala. (image by Margaret Nagawa)

Catalyzing Connections: A legacy by Sidney Littlefield Kasfir on African Art

The one thing that is constant in an artist’s life is the need to create, exhibit, get sincere feedback from an audience, but most importantly be allowed to reflect on their development through friendly, sincere and constructive criticism. Sidney Littlefield Kasfir, I believe, provided these to many African artists. We will greatly miss her and thankfully, she has contributed to discussions on some of the momentous journeys of African Art.


Professor Kasfir (right) during the Kampala Art Biennale Symposium 2014 at Makerere University (image by Fiona Siegenthaler)

In Remembrance of Sidney Littlefield Kasfir (1939-2019)

Professor Sidney Littlefield Kasfir was an art historian born in York, Maine, USA in 1939 and breathed her last on the 29th of December 2019 in Maralal, Samburu County, Kenya. We, in Uganda, artists, art historians, and curators mourn the passing of a friend, mentor and educator who championed art with her generous spirit, deep and far-reaching knowledge, love of people, and joyous disposition.


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.


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.


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.


Illustration by Diana Bwengye

WHAT IT IS – Arinda Daphine’s Poetry Series on Sexuality and Womanhood

Writer Gloria Kiconco introduces a new poetry series by Daphine Arinda titled “What it is”, The series traces the journey from girlhood to womanhood. Arinda is one of the few poets in Uganda to explore erotica, a genre that is challenging, sensitive, and often politicised. It is easy to dismiss erotica as a genre. It is easy to assume it has no power or deep social and political influence because it is pornographic.


Illustration by Diana Bwengye for the poem "Loose" by Daphine Arinda

Loose – a poem about a woman’s expression and desires

In the poem “Loose”, Daphine Arinda satirises the term used to describe women who are comfortable expressing their sexual desires. A woman who dresses sexy, dances wildly, enjoys sexual encounters is labelled “loose”. She is more of a threat because she does this for herself. Arinda claims this word for a positive use, aligning it to its other meaning, one akin to freedom. The woman in this poem becomes one who is free to enjoy her sexuality, saying, “But dignity and self-respect are MINE/ mine to lose.”


Some of the available titles in the Malaika Children's Mobile Library

Entrepreneurship in the Arts, a model from the Malaika Children’s Mobile Library

Rosey’s Ssembatya’s mobile children’s library brings with it new ideas and approaches to reading and children. It is a unique arts innovation because; it focuses on children, their reading abilities, what they read, reading for fun, who reads for them. It also has a business niche to it. Tapping into a new young generation of readers, in a decade, we won’t have ‘Ugandans don’t read’ kind of phrases anymore.