Author: start

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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The Art of Appropriation: The Ready-made through the Eyes of Matt Kayem

Visual artist Matt Kayem explores the concept of found object art and appropriation in art and talke about his own installation at the Kampala Art Biennale. It makes everything look easy but it requires an eye for aesthetics, and a creative mind to choose an item to speak volumes. The process of selection is a tedious one as the artist has to think and look for an object that will best represent and communicate their concept.

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Global Connections: Elise Atangana on 2nd Kampala Art Biennale

By Moses Serubiri. The Kampala Art Biennale emerged in 2014, organized by the Kampala Arts Trust. It was billed erroneously as the “first biennale in Africa” in the Observer newspaper. Not surprisingly, the biennale was isolated from the Kampala Contemporary Art Festival – KLA ART, its predecessor in 2012. The Kampala Art Biennale premier edition, held at the Uganda Museum, was themed Progressive Africa, and its artistic director was artist-educator Henry Mzili Mujunga. While the first edition embodied a Pan-African spirit of artistic production, it contradictorily relied on the notion of “tourism”—one of the very funny comments I overheard at the opening was when a panelist compared art sales to gorilla mountain treks. Regardless, the biennale seemed to draw quite a lot of local press and drew in large crowds who came to see the Pan-African selection of artworks on display. This year, Moses Serubiri talks to the curator of the 2nd Kampala Biennale, Elise Atanganga.

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Editorial: Start Journal Re-imagined

By Assoc. Prof. George Kyeyune
Start Journal of Arts and Culture is coming back after a break of almost a year. The break was necessary for its internal adjustment and re-organisation to set it on a new footing. It now has a new editorial team that constitutes high profile Africanists: Prof. Sidney Littlefield Kasfir, Assoc. Prof. George Kyeyune, Dr. Angelo Kakande and Ms. Margaret Nagawa.

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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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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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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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‘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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Kiln Remodeling and its Use with Bizen-like Pottery Firing Techniques

This paper presents the practical processes of remodeling and using a kiln in the Ceramics studio at the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine arts, Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The effectiveness of a kiln is dependent on its design, ability to preserve heat by minimizing heat loss, and the capacity to be economical with fuel. The kiln in the ceramics department used waste oil for firing. During my postgraduate studies spanning 5 years in Japan, I studied and worked with wood kilns – building them and firing in them. Upon returning to Uganda in 2015 with this experience, I was able to identify some of the problems associated with Makerere Art School’s waste oil fired kiln and its hardships.

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transFORM#1: A conversation with Afriart Gallery Art director Daudi Karungi

The transFORM #1 Contemporary Art Experience is happening this Saturday 5th December at a warehouse behind the Nakumatt in Bukoto. The event, which is organised in partnership with the Goethe Zentrum Kampala, is widely advertised in the media as an art experience with exhibition and after party with South African DJs. Startjournal met with the organiser Daudi Karungi to find out what was the rational behind the event.

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Faceless Figures, White Cut-Outs

What happens to Fanon’s followers during liberation? In what condition is Fanon’s nativism when revolution gives birth to independence from the terror of colonialism? How does Fanon translate to the cultural and economic development of present day Africa? Serubiri Moses turns to Eria Solomon Nsubuga’s recent exhibition for answers.

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Another Roadmap Cluster to impact on art education on the continent- Q&A with Wolukau-Wanambwa

Emma Wolukau: The Another Roadmap Africa Cluster are a group of scholars and practitioners of artistic and cultural education, working across the African continent, who have come together to pursue a joint programme of research into arts educational practice in Africa that is critically informed and grounded in historical analysis. The group’s aim is to produce and to share knowledge about and through artistic and cultural education in Africa, and to make this knowledge available both across the continent and worldwide.

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Duplicating Fabian Mpagi’s, the thinker, by Waddimba spurs controversy

The next big story in the Uganda contemporary art scene could be the duplicating of the painting, the thinker, by Edward Waddimba. The thinker (1993) is a series of paintings composed of a stoic human figure squatting with a hunched back with its right elbow almost supporting its right chin to create an impression of someone in a pensive mood. This painting originally painted by, Fabian Kamulu Mpagi, one of the masters of modern and contemporary art in Uganda, was duplicated in 2008 by Waddimba his former protégé.

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George Kyeyune’s ‘Quiet Dignity’ repeats subject matter, pushes subtle boundaries

“It was at the beginning of the millennium, just before I went for my PhD that I started seriously painting,” Kyeyune narrated in an interview with the writer. In this time, he pursued painting in order to realise himself as an artist. However, like many others faced with the reality of living as an artist, he created more to sell than he created for himself. He confessed that his past exhibitions were not usually pre-meditated, but rather he was approached by gallery managers and owners to present his work regardless of whether or not the collection was cohesive.
“Quiet Dignity” was his escape from this trap. It was a planned exhibition toward which he worked with two goals: to present his findings on the use of modelling wax created from locally available materials and to re-launch himself into studio practice where he could create, not for a client, but for himself.

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