Tag: Xenson

Thank you for your support, we are almost there!

Help Startjournal reach its fundraising goals as we count down the days from the start the of StartJournal Fundraising Campaign until it will end on the 31st of May. We are most grateful to people like you who make our work and the journal possible through your support. Your money not only provides young writers the opportunity to write about the arts, it also supports the documenting of East African and African Art, archives what is happening in the art scene and keeps our website updated & online.

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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

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Art, that that………

Samson Ssenkaaba aka Xenson graduated in 1999 from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Makerere University majoring in graphic design and painting. Since then, his works have been shown in numerous exhibitions and fashion shows in Uganda and abroad. Read his poem ‘Art, that that…….’

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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.

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Producing Culture on Twitter: Is it Ugandan?

From the exposure many Ugandan musicians such as Navio, The Mith, Keko, Lillian Mbabazi and Maurice Kirya are receiving on Twitter, it would not be inappropriate to say that popular Ugandan music is experiencing a boom in Africa. Unfortunately, this has exposed their largely Western aspirations, creating the daunting questions such as: Who is the audience on Twitter? Which culture does one produce for? And, is it possible to produce a cultural following on Twitter?

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Censorship and the Arts in Uganda

“As the eighth edition of the Wazo Talking Arts proved, while the expectation is of artists to be at the forefront of debate and to challenge the status quo, artists are also a product of their culture, religion, and politics; their work cannot be separated from their experience. In other words artists are human beings, artists can be frightened, and artists can be ideologically conservative or liberal. If there is one attribute that artists need to create meaningful, challenging, even great work in the face of possible censorship, then that attribute is courage.” Farida Nabalozi reflects on Censorship and the Arts in Uganda.

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Nudity? It is Artistic Expression and Free Speech (part II)

In this second part of a three-part essay, Angelo Kakende reviews many of the paintings depicted in Nude 2000 and Nude 2001: “In summing up, Nude 2001 grew from the success of Nude 2000; the two shows had a common agenda of mystifying the naked body. I however submit that that is not what is should be remembered for. In my opinion, it should be remembered for providing an occasion of the artists to explore the nude for art and for purposes of contributing to socio-political discussions in the country.”

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Kampala Contemporary Art Festival: Setting new trends in art exhibitions

“It had never occurred to me that setting up twelve shipping containers across the city could account for a festival, but it certainly did when the shipping containers were translated into art exhibition points. This was the Kampala Contemporary Art Festival dubbed ‘12 artists, 12 locations’ and it ran from 7th-14th October with a theme ‘12 Boxes Moving’.” Elizabeth Namakula reviews.

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Olubugo Reloaded: The push towards a new awareness

The exhibition ‘Olubugo Reloaded’ at FAS FAS Gallery is important because it presents artworks based on the bark cloth material with a focus on what place it has in Uganda and within the contemporary arts of Uganda. Art lecturer in fibers and weaving, Lesli Robertson of the University of North Texas, continues to see that bark cloth is finding stronger ground every year and it is through the work of Ugandan artists and designers that this material continues to elevate its place within contemporary art.

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What is Original? Do-cultures and don’t-cultures

The current generation of recording artists and performers of Ugandan music is one that has not been talked about much. This could be in fact, that there is very little in terms of music to speak of. You could summarize an entire decade of music in just a few sentences; very little music has been produced in the last 20 or so years which has gotten the entire country talking about an issue, an epidemic or even a political regime. Serubiri Moses analyses originality.

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Xenson’s Futuristic Past enthralls

With the likes of Xenson and his contemporaries like Stella Atal and Latif, the Uganda fashion flag is flying high and whoever thought the fashion boom in Uganda could end pretty soon, is in for a shocker. “Fashion is a journey. I wanted to create something and leave the interpretation to the people. I wanted my clothes to speak for themselves and I believe they did,” explained an exhausted Xenson after the show.

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Kiwewa’yimba: Ugandan art is booming! But where is the market?

“To stand out and become significantly successful, we need to step out of our comfort zones and question how much effort we are really making to help the creative arts industry boom. We all share the goal of developing the industry into one that truly represents Ugandan talent and makes everyone proud.” Startjournal.org has invited Kiwewa Faisal of Bayimba Cultural Foundation to write his opinions about Ugandan arts and culture.

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Taking art back to communities: The Mabarti Street Art project

The project of taking art to the street that Sadolin is spearheading will give artists and their ‘new audience’ the opportunity to dialogue. The artists will cast their nets beyond the gallery visitors to include local audiences. They will understand each other better and gradually develop images that match their expectations. Mabarti art project has confirmed to the Kampala dwellers and visitors that there is a community of artists in Uganda actively and devotedly practicing art and that these artists would like to reach out to them.

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