Category: Review

Installation “Afrika is not getting it” from Notes about the times at Modzi Arts by Matt Kayem.

Notes About The Times – Kayem’s response to COVID-19

Covid-19 all caught us all by surprise. Ugandan contemporary artist Matt Kayem had just arrived in Lusaka, Zambia for his art is residency at Modzi Arts when borders closed and there was no return back to his beloved motherland. Trevor Mukholi talks to the artist on phone.

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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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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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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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Dr. Angelo Kakande Chair, Department of Industrial Art and Applied Design, Startjournal editor

Editorial: Returning to the archive: It is still rich, accessible and usable!

This issue demonstrates that the available archive of the history of Uganda’s visual culture is still rich, accessible and usable. However, it could shape a conversation on the country’s creative discourse if (and only if) we looked at it again and looked at it hard enough. Dr. Angello Kakande gives an overview of the articles in this Feb – May 2017 Issue.

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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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Baby's day out: Sent by Nalusiba Rebecca

‘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.

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Stimulating artistic inquiry with Ronex’ Bags

The Exhibition titled Bags that opened recently at Afriart gallery in Kampala is a continuation of the innovation, participation and interaction. The artist showcases bags in both small and big sizes with artworks emblazoned on their faces. Some of the images are abstract while others are semi-abstract with human figures and familiar motifs like the pair of fish wedged on canvas, the miniature human face parallel to the miniature standing human figure and the now popular KLA motif.

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Atwork in progress

From February 9th to the 13th 2015, 21 fine art students, curators-to-be, and recent graduates participated in the AtWork workshop, equipped with two small moleskine notebooks. One book was reserved for ideas, question, and notes and the second for executing their interpretation to the question, “should I take off my shoes?” They worked under the direction of Simon Njami, with the support of Dr. Lillian Nabulime and Dr. George Kyeyune from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts.

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