Category: Opinions

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 (Ugandan filmmaker) and David Cecil (British producer) on British-Ugandan production Imperial Blue.

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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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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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Poetry of Memory is Voice, Not Words

“When the late Joseph Walugembe was still the Director of the Uganda National Theatre, he once explained to my friends and I of the Lantern Meet of Poets how our poetry was different from that of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I recall him emphasizing how the memorized and dramatized performance of our poetry was the main ingredient. Up to that point I had never considered memorized oral expression of poetry even as aspects of poetry”. Kagayi Ngobi talks about his journey into poetry.

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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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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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‘But I wonder, why do we have to be so bothered about the challenges of being received abroad?’ – Q&A with curator Bisi Silva

Start: The 10th Photography Biennale: Bamako Encounter is celebrating photography as an artform. What are still some of those challenges photographers from the continent face to be accepted on the International scene?
Bisi: The 10th Bamako Encounters: African Biennale of Photography is the principal and longest running platform for the presentation of the work of African and African Diaspora photographers and artists to showcase their work to a continental and international audience.
But I wonder, why do we have to be so bothered about the challenges of being received abroad? What about the huge challenges of photographers being accepted across Africa? I think that is where we need to direct our attention.

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Music to the ears

Recently I was listening to this ballad by Fela Anikulapo Kuti where he asserted that it is in the Western cultural tradition to carry sh*t. That Africans were taught by European man to carry sh*t. Dem go cause confusion and corruption’. How? Dem get one style dem use, dem go pick up one African man with low mentality and give him 1 million Naira bread to become one useless chief.
Artist Henry Mzili Mujunga speaks his mind about interference within the art scene in Africa.

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