Tag: National Theatre

‘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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The harsh rebirth of professional theatre in Uganda

“The 1970s were for Uganda the years when the lights started to go out. In the ranks of Ugandans who had fled the country, and who never made it out of the decade, and a big rank it was, dramatists were among the number. Soldiers appeared at the National Theatre in 1977 and dragged then director of the National Theatre, Byron Kawadwa from rehearsals. A military tribunal had in secret passed a death sentence on him and five of his colleagues.” AK Kaiza reflects on the recent history of theatres in Uganda.

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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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Museveni’s children and their splintered voices in ‘Broken Voices of the Revolution’

The Lantern Meet of Poets is made up of mostly university students who share one thing in common. They were born in the 1980’s—at the time when the National Resistance Army (NRA), now the National Resistance Movement (NRM), allegedly liberated this country from bad governance. During this first themed recital and performance, they sounded out their splintered voices from within the revolution. The writing, though familiarly presented, managed to achieve a simmering hyper-realism in the audience.

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Amakula: A journey of a thousand miles

Amakula International Film Festival in Uganda has been in existence for the past 8 years. Samuel Lutaaya has interview two industry players with different views about Amakula’s impact. Dilman Dila can not see how Amakula is promoting Ugandan films within Uganda, while the festival manager Nathan Kiwere thinks Amakula has played an instrumental role in building capacity of filmmakers.

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10 Lessons learned from a well-organized Bayimba

With the exception of the Laba! Arts festival, there are not so many festivals on the Ugandan calendar. So Bayimba gave us a feel of what a festival should be like. In the words of its Director Faisal Kiwewa, “Celebrating the feeling of belonging and experiencing the freedom of culturality.” And while at it, celebrate culture in all its diversity, so it seemed. Elizabeth Namakula reviews the Bayimba.

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Fun factory: Cracking a rib

Fun Factory visited the Bayimba Festival for the first time, and their debut was one of the most anticipated shows. The group performed to thunderous laughter and applause. To celebrate Uganda’s Golden Jubilee, Fun Factory will also stage 50 skits across two nights called “50 years of madness”. Elizabeth Namakula reviews.

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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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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.

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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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Breaking Free, a fusion of life

Urban dance can comfortably be twinned with contemporary dance. Any number of styles will combine to bring out an important message as was exhibited in the Breaking Free production on a cool Kampala evening on January 14. “Hip hop and dance potentially hold the key to the next stage in the development of the arts in Uganda. More productions in the mold of Breaking Free will be needed. And the public will have to be nudged in the right direction by experts in the area.” Steven Tendo reviews for Startjournal.org.

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Why Art? An essay by Doreen Baingana

“As Ugandan artists, we must ask ourselves whether we should strive to make our work more relevant to our communities and if so, how. Some would argue that it is enough that the work is relevant to the artist, and if it is coupled with genuine creativity, will automatically become relevant to the rest of society. My hope is that we can all engage in this discussion of what art can and cannot do for us as individuals and as a society. The public debate on the value of the arts and humanities must become a deeper and more intelligent one.” Ugandan author Doreen Baingana reviews last year’s Dance Transmission.

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Sam Ibanda: Spreading the passion for Ugandan contemporary dance

Uganda has more than 50 tribes. Each of these has a dance that defines them. It is from this rich pool that dancers like Sam Ibanda can create great dances to weave into contemporary routines. Other dancers have introduced traditional dance into their patterns to great effect. Ibanda has learnt well that when he travels out to present to an international audience, he will have to be original. Contemporary dance from Uganda must be truly an identity.

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Bayimba 2011: A celebration of music, dance, art and culture

This years Bayimba Festival of the Arts outshone previous editions. Performers in the fields of music, dance and theatre were brought in from such locations as Europe, America and all over Africa. Artists and photographers exhibited their wares and a silent disco provided sufficient entertainment for dancehall music lovers. All in all, the Bayimba Festival tried to ensure that as many aspects of the arts were covered as possible.

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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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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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