Category: Special analysis

Vision for Africa Pottery Workshop: A case study for traditional African design

Carola Tengler is a ceramicist who spent her career making and teaching pottery in Austria, her home country. In 2003, she joined the Vision for Africa project in Mukono district, Uganda. Carola’s vision is to bring value and expertise to the traditional African forms and patterns as manifested in the field of pottery. She argues that there is a traditional African form and design that is unique to Africa, and therefore must be uplifted and used to create unique works and not works that are trying to copy other cultures’ ideals.

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Is the Ugandan art scene on the right path?

Kampala’s arts scene is on the move. There is no longer such a thing as “the only gallery in town”. These new white cubes appears in many shapes and frequencies, and provides great, new arenas for creators to meet potential buyers and patrons. But who are the new drivers behind the wheel? Startjournal takes a look at the spin-offs, the garden parties, the corporate fueled charity events and the festivals.

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The Art of Economic Instability

The recent global economic downturn has given people in both public and private sectors a big fright, causing them to cut funding in various areas. Culture and its related industries has taken a huge hit to the gut as a result of this. What now? Should the creative industry just sit back and wait for someone to feel sympathy and donate some spare finance? Or should it start to think proactively and become more financially literate about its sectors? Samuel Lutaaya presents some suggestions.

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Can you really find your favourite Ugandan visual artists online?

Eight out of ten Ugandan visual artists publish information about themselves and/or their work online. Facebook is currently the most popular way of maintaining ones online identity, but the full-time artists and the experienced artists maintain a wider range of websites, and seem to benefit from that. Startjournal.org has conducted a survey about artists’ first experiences being online.

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Bayimba Festival: Champion of the Arts

Between the 16th and the 18th September, the National Theater and Dewington Road next to it will be a riotous blaze of sound, colour, fashion and the spoken word: The Bayimba Festival is coming to town. But the Bayimba Cultural Foundation is so much more than an annual festival. In this article, Bayimba explains why they host cultural workshops, fund artists, and initiate industry discussions.

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Contemplating the Early Years Exhibition, Moving Past Propaganda: A Critical Review

In this essay Dr. Angelo Kakande reviews The Early Years: Paintings from the Collection, 1960s-Mid 1980. He places it in Uganda’s history since 1958. In the process he revises some of the positions taken by its organisers; while he questions others. He demonstrates and argues that a contemplation of the wider context of Uganda’s social, economic and political history, which is embodied in some of the works on show, reveals not simply a failed past, but also a pathetic presence and an uncertain political future.

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Do we really care about our Arts and Culture? Ugandans speak out at their 2nd national conference

In May newly elected parliamentarians were sworn in amidst colourful cultural performances from all over Uganda. How significant that across the road from them, the theme “We don’t care about Ugandan arts and culture” was discussed at the 2nd Annual Conference on Arts and Culture. Several speakers tried to prove the audience that we do need to care. But the question arises; will art ever be put on the agenda of politicians if we merely consider it to be part of our every day life as the speakers illustrated. And what are the underlying challenges?

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David Oduki at ‘Let Us Share Beauty’: “Adapt exhibitions to global trends”

David Oduki, the co-founder of Royal African Foundation, attended the opening of the exhibition “Let Us Share Beauty” in Utrecht, the Netherlands. “Local galleries in Uganda should be aware of global trends and adapt exhibitions to those trends. They also should promote the likes of Collin Sekajugo and explain their recycling message to the local public,” David Oduki tells Startjournal.

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Group studios in Uganda: The Challenges of a Collective

In 2007, when Start Magazine covered the story of Mona Studio, there was an air of great expectations for the cause of young artists working together. It was a case of two charismatic artists slowly but surely etching their way into an indifferent community in Kamwokya, a suburb of Kampala city. Edison Mugalu and Anwar Nakibinge were forging an art collective to make an impact on the local community. And they almost pulled it off, but for the ignorance of one major factor at play in any alliance; the divergence of vested interests.

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Evolution of visual arts in Uganda

Uganda’s visual art scene, like the country’s history, has been through turbulent times. In this feature Harry Johnstone explores the evolution of visual art in Uganda. Harry examines Uganda’s historical differences with other regions in Africa, visual artists’ reaction to post-independence political struggle as well as the work of several contemporary artists.

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Corporate sponsorship of the arts: Friend or foe?

Art needs patronage. This could be provided by people of modest income who buy art on a regular basis to decorate their spaces and to use as gifts. These abound on the Ugandan art scene. But how useful are these art buyers to an industry that demands major capital injection for its growth?
In this article, Henry Mzili Mujunga questions the role of the corporate sponsors of Arts in Uganda.

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