Monday, 6 Feb 2023
Category: Investigative Analysis

On Cultural Destiny: The Klaus Wachsmann Music Archive

(As a society), we are responsible for documenting, studying and understanding the musical heritage that is available. Many contemporary musicians are looking for avenues to make their work more authentic. … The Klaus Wachsmann Music Archive would be the perfect place to establish more accurate study by those same musicians who are searching for ‘authenticity’ to research on various instrument, and to hear recordings of the canons of master players in Uganda’s cultural legacy.

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Artwork by Ronex. Exhibited at Fasfas Art Cafe, Kampala, January 2013. Image modified by Thomas Bjørnskau, startjournal.org.

The many faces of ART

There are many new ways for Ugandans to be exposed to the arts. Startjournal wanted to find out if all the art that is permeating the air had actually seeped through the skins of the people. We posed the following question to working class Ugandans: Please tell us — what is ART to you?

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From FasFas Art Café, Kampala, 2012.

Nudity? It is Artistic Expression and Free Speech (part III)

In this third and final part of a three-part essay, Angelo Kakende reviews the recent Nude 2012-exhibition at FasFas: “Nudes 2012 was different from Nude 2000, Nude 2001… It was mobilised with local resources and initiatives. This created the burden of the need to sell and recover costs. In my opinion, it is this economic incentive which affected the positions the artists took while. They treaded carefully avoiding the risk of offending anyone.”

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From the art exhibition "Aftermath of Ugandan Art after 50 years" at Fairway Hotel, Kampala, December 2012.

When group exhibitions fall short on competence and innovation

Many artists will gush at the opportunity of participating in a group exhibition, especially when it is held in a non-traditional art space like a hotel or an open space. The excitement comes from the fact that they are going to make a good killing with their art. Unfortunately, many times the artists compromise a lot on quality—often the work is not good enough—and as such it affects the whole idea of creativity, competence and innovation.

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Cover of the catalogue The Nude 2000 Exhibition

Nudity? It is Artistic Expression and Free Speech (part II)

In this second part of a three-part essay, Angelo Kakende reviews many of the paintings depicted in Nude 2000 and Nude 2001: “In summing up, Nude 2001 grew from the success of Nude 2000; the two shows had a common agenda of mystifying the naked body. I however submit that that is not what is should be remembered for. In my opinion, it should be remembered for providing an occasion of the artists to explore the nude for art and for purposes of contributing to socio-political discussions in the country.”

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Cover of the catalogue The Nude 2000 Exhibition

Nudity? It is Artistic Expression and Free Speech (part I)

In this first part of a three-part essay, Angelo Kakende relates the recent Nude 2012-exhibition at FasFas to former Nude 2000 and Nude 2001-exhibitions held at Nommo Gallery. He looks beyond the claim for the aesthetic appeal, and attends two ways in which the production and circulation of the nude in contemporary Ugandan art in general and nude exhibitions in particular fuses the line between aesthetics and pornography; art and non-art.

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"Uptown" by Jjuuko Hoods, acrylic on canvas 160x120cm.

Visionary Africa: “Glass Boxes are a disaster”

Dr. Allan Birabi made this remark about the impunity of increasing Glass Curtain Wall Buildings in Kampala, that disconnect the lay man from his city Kampala. This subject of belonging to a neighborhood, city or urban center, was very much a part of the discourse in the European Union conference termed “How art and architecture can make city development inclusive and sustainable”, which took place at City Hall on 18th September 2012.

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Uganda’s Independence Monuments at 50

Perhaps one day Ugandan artists and citizens will honor Maloba and his vision by reappropriating Independence Monument from its current appropriation, even theft, by the NRM as a rallying place for reflection on the 50 years of betrayals of the original promise of independence. Armed with the social media that Ugandan artists utilize so effectively, they may give birth to a new generation of promise to transform Uganda. What will their monuments, the monuments for the next 50 years of independence, look like?

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A street art festivals could include...

Do art festivals matter?

Art festivals like the recent LaBa! Street Art Festival give visitors a chance to get away from the struggle of life and indulge in something more pleasant; arts and entertainment. Kudos to the many who involves themselves by bringing wares to the tables and performances to the tents, but where does the street that hosts an art festival lead us, asks Samuel Lutaaya.

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Faisal Kiwewa, the Director of Bayimba, at the DOADOA, Jinja May 2012.

DOADOA: Taking African music to the global scene

“Africa produces the best music in the world, but getting the music to the global level is still a big problem.” This viewpoint was given by Ruth Daniel, a co-founder of the global grassroots and creative community Un-Convention, at a press conference in Jinja. The press conference was organized by the Bayimba Cultural Foundation; launching the annual Bayimba Festival and DOADOA, the East African performing arts market at the Bax Conference Center.

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Jonas Byaruhanga. Photo by Astrid Dill.

Dancing the night away

“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.

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Unesco illuminated Headquarter © Nicholas Guy

Arts and Heritage: Who owns what? Why we have to (be) care(fully)?

In the world of arts and culture nowadays, the term ‘heritage’ seems to be everywhere. Every country has its National Heritage, Tourist Guides are advertising World Heritage, and so on. If someone referrs to ‘heritage’, is it about preserving traditional knowlegde or is it about making money? What is this ‘heritage’ all about? Does an artist inherit something? Or a people?

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Collin Sekajugo at TEDx Kampala 2012.

Turning Trash into Treasure

A city flooded with litter is great news for the creatives. Artists should look for waste materials in their immediate surroundings, take advantage of the built-in shapes, colours and textures of ordinary rubbish, and treat the piles of litter as a main source of inspiration. These were some of the messages delivered by some of Uganda’s finest artists at the first TEDx-conference hosted in Kampala.

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Making beads. Photo by courtesy of www.ekisaakaate.org.

Ekisaakaate: Ganda culture holiday camp for kids

The Nabagereka of Buganda, Her Royal Highness Sylvia Nagginda, initiated Ekisaakaate – a children’s holiday camp – in 2007. The purpose of this camp was to nurture respect and appreciation for culture and heritage, which is especially important in today’s modern society. Children are trained in etiquette, craftsmanship, games, dance and home baking as part of Ganda culture. Nakisanze Segawa reflects on the effects of such cultural programs for Ugandan families.

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Outlook 2012: Six leading Ugandan arts and culture professionals share their visions

Faisal Kiwewa, Director of Bayimba Cultural Foundation, Adong Judith Lucy, a renowned playwright, film maker and arts practitioner, John Bosco Kyabaggu, production manager at the Uganda National Cultural Centre, Ronex Ahimbisibwe, a renowned visual artist, Maurice Kirya, musician and brainchild of the Maurice Kirya Experience, and Joel Sebunjo, acclaimed Ugandan world music artist, all share some thoughts about 2011 and 2012.

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Ismaël Lo performing at Serena Hotel 2012. Photo by courtesy of Joel Sebunjo.

A Case for Good African Music

“There were a number of magical moments in the World Music showcase by Joel Sebunjo and Ismaël Lo on Friday. One was watching Sebunjo play the opening kora-solo to ‘Nakato’. Another one was hearing Ismaël Lo sing ‘Tajabone’, alone on stage with his guitar.” Serubiri Moses mediate on African music – “One must be able to feel the spirit of a people through music.”

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