Tag: Makerere University

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).

Read More >>

“We have forgotten to attach an identity of relevance to our different forms of Art” – Q&A with Kwiz-Era

“We have forgotten to attach an identity of relevance to our different forms of Art”. Kwizera who goes by the moniker Kwiz-Era is an illustrator and Artist. Startjournal.org had a Q&A with him at his studio within Iguana Bar and asked him why it is important for artists to be relevant and not think about mass production.

Read More >>

Beyond Tradition & Modernity: Contemporary Art in Uganda

From the start, Uganda’s contemporary visual arts were defined by the absence of their own ‘authentic’ tradition. Throughout the early twentieth century, Makerere University’s European directors sought either to stimulate a latent African-ness of their own imagining in the students, or to push them into the future via an exposure to foreign experiments in representation

Read More >>

Wazo 10: Xenson tells his story

On April 2nd 2013, the guest speaker for Wazo 10 was conceptual and visual artist, musician, filmmaker and poet, Ssenkaaba Samson, who goes by the name Xenson. In his introduction the moderator, David Kaiza, described Xenson as someone whose varied work in fashion, music, poetry and the visual arts has exponentially expanded what we call art and the art space in Uganda.

Read More >>

Free Expression by Mzili: Desperate Art

“The enslavement of the African has persisted despite his desire for the liberties of capitalism. The oppressor and his kindred have continued to spread their greedy tentacles to engulf any outcrops of resistance. We cannot breathe the fresh air of liberty because the clever chameleon changes its spot like the dreaded HIV/Aids. These sound like chants straight out of the communist manifesto, but they are simply the lamentations of a hopeless artist whose every move forward has been checked by disparaging stereotypes. One would be quick to assume that art is the last frontier of resistance to this form of suppression and dominance. After all, it is what really defines a people’s existence.” Mzili speaks.

Read More >>

Debunking the Chinua Achebe legacy

Unarguably he was one of the most-read writers from the African continent, selling more than 8 million copies. His book Things Fall Apart is the most widely read book in African literature and the most translated. While a whirlwind of tributes has poured in in the wake of Achebe’s death, we have been left to ponder his contributions to African literature and the literature body generally, and to see if he rightfully deserved the continent’s honor: The father of modern African literature. And while at it, also weigh the relevance of his work to the present generation.

Read More >>

The Collection Bug

As the global economy goes through turbulent times, it is becoming clear that art is regarded as one of the few investments which people regard as a safe bet. But, there’s more to art than money, despite the relationship the two are often seen as having. Local art collections and sales are on the rise, and with an increasing population of young, upwardly-mobile people looking to culture as a hobby, Anna Kućma sets out to discover the motivations driving several local collectors.

Read More >>

Banadda’s Marriage of Philosophy and Aesthetics

He takes no less than four months to conceive and develop an idea in his head, a process he refers to as mental sketching. It takes him a minimum of another four weeks to actualize the idea on canvas to his satisfaction. Meet Godfrey Banadda, a second-generation modern artist that has led a distinguished career in painting, exploring a diversity of themes that essentially question the mysteries of nature and culture.

Read More >>

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.

Read More >>

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.

Read More >>

Fred Mutebi: Art – Bargaining for woman

“The series in this collection are meant to inspire Ugandans and well-wishers to think about giving a woman the opportunity to attend to Uganda’s problems for at least five years come 2016 in order for Uganda to recuperate as well as inspire the upcoming artists to have a new approach to depicting women in their artwork so that we give the women the kind of dignity they most deserve.” Visual artist Fred Mutebi writes for startjournal.

Read More >>

Edison Mugalu’s art: The serendipity of success

“I have been following the trends in Uganda’s visual environment in the last decade, with keen interest and I have noted something rather distinct. While the events in art that made headlines in the period of economic recovery (1986-2000) were led by seasoned artists with predictable results, those in the last decade have been dominated by younger artists most of whom in the early stages of their careers. … Edison Mugalu typifies this cadre of younger artists who have taken to making art as their full time employment and many have made a success of it. Their work exhibit a bold and aggressive attitude which is also reflected in their marketing strategies.” Professor George Kyeyune reviews Mugalu’s work for startjournal.

Read More >>

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.

Read More >>

The Lure of Poetry

At an evening of poetry to commemorate the month long US celebration of the Black History Month in February at the Makerere University Institute of Technology, poetry took on a new meaning, that of being a mouth piece for social change. Elizabeth Namakula reviews this event and also looks at the Lantern Meet of Poets at the National Theatre March 17th.

Read More >>

Different But One 16: A Story without End

“Different But One, for the last fifteen years, has provided artists a platform for visual artistic expressions that are increasingly dynamic and provocative. This annual event has also given artists the chance to continually keep their talent alive. This year’s Different But One had a visual exuberance to me which led me to compare it to the “jumping the broom” ceremony; a joyful entry into a new life together as artists—male and female, old and young, modern and figurative, abstract and narrative. We, the viewers, are participants of the renewed energy and commitment of Makerere Faculty’s vision and fine arts.” Maria Alawua reviews.

Read More >>

The 100 Posters for the Right to Education Exhibition: Its Lessons for the Enforcement of Fundamental Rights

Between 8 December 2011 and 8 January 2012 the Institute of Heritage Conservation and Restoration hosted the 100 Posters for the Right to Education Exhibition to celebrate the International Human Rights Day. In this essay Dr. Angelo Kakande analyse a selection of posters to expose the visual and legal issues behind the right to education in Uganda and the point at which the exhibition intersected with this right.

Read More >>