COMING UP NEXT
A talk on 11th August 2016, from 3.00 – 5.00 pm
Official Exhibition Opening on 18th August 2016 5.00 pm
‘Omweso’ is a board game played in many rural and semi-urban communities of Uganda. The talk “Let’s Talk about Omweso” will aim to raise interest, questions and collate literature in order to add more knowledge about Omweso. It is evident in some-publications, that it is a universal game whose structure and rules change with each culture. The interest is in discussing histories of ‘Omweso’ as an artifact in the category of progressive material culture, related restrictions and taboos, construction and recollection as a learning tool. The“Let’s Talk about Omweso” talk and subsequent Exhibition sets out to conceptualize and showcase visual representations based on the different aspects of the ‘omweso’ board game, the object, its socio-cultural implications and related conversations specifically within a socio-cultural and technological history perspective. The Exhibition is conscious of the mathematical principles of strategy and counter strategy, the social-cultural memories and competitive rules of engagement in this game. The Exhibition will also showcase four guest artists Sheila Nakitende, Tadeo Kasirisimbi, Allen Nabukenya and Joan Nakigudde.
OPENING THURSDAY 7TH JULY – 6TH AUGUST, 2016.
Stories in and about Africa and Sudan are many and diverse. Contemporary discourses about Sudan and Africa often exposed the two into hubs of direct political unrest, poverty, violence and disease. Indeed these are features of the crises in the continent and in Sudan, but they do not tell the whole story. In this show, the artistdraws upon the African and Islamic arts, storytelling, and on African American experiences to explore the obvious tragedies and highlight other, silenced stories, experiences, and narratives.
Khalid Kodi, long recognized as a prolific Sudanese American master artist, educator, and cultural critic, has emerged as a central figure, exploring multi-cultural concepts and transcending cultural boundaries. He uses contemporary themes and methods along two lines of work, namely conceptual political work and aesthetic installations.
Born in Sudan, Kodi migrated to the United States in the early 1990s. As an African living in America, he has embraced both American and African cultures, engaging both in constant dialogue. He has used his art as a forum to teach and to bring issues of the civil war in Sudan to his Sudanese community all over the world as well as to citizens of other nations.
Next stop – Kabbo ka Muwala’s opening in Kampala
by Anna Kućma
After it’s inauguration in Harare, Zimbabwe, the Kabbo ka Muwala exhibition has now made its way to Kampala, Uganda.
Artists taking part in the show including Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, Mwangi Hutter, Helen Zeru, Jodi Bieber, Rehema Chachege and Berry Bickle, traveled to Kampala to join Uganda’s Immy Mali and Xenson as well as members of the NakivArt collective from the Nakivale Refugee Settlement. The curators and project coordinators also joined the artists.
The exhibition took a slightly different shape than in Harare, taking into account the difference in audience as well as the radically different, much smaller space of the Makerere Art Gallery, located within the Margaret Trowell School of Fine Art campus at Makerere University compound.
The opening was preceded by a press conference attended by local and international press. You can watch Al Jazeera’s coverage of the event here
The grand opening of the exhibition took place on April 14th and was attended by many distinguished guest including His Excellency the German Ambassador Dr. Peter Blomeyer, whose engaging speech sought to remind us that we are all at some level migrants or the result of migrations.
The event also featured two performances; the first by Ethiopian artist Helen Zeru, who in her Aesthetic of Shyness reenacted a ritual that was performed on her when she was a child, asking questions about memory and how we remember things. The second performance, by Xenson from Uganda, was an integral part of his installation titled Musisi, which was exhibited in the garden outside of the gallery. The work addresses the forces that cause people to move or migrate not only across borders and continents but also on a much smaller scale within Kampala city.
The opening was followed by a Walkabout, which took place on April 15th. Artists talked about their work in greater detail to an audience of students, fellow artists and other visitors, explaining the ideas and concepts behind their pieces as well as answering more practical questions concerning the processes and installations of the works.
The Walkabout was followed by a visit to 32o East – Ugandan Arts Trust, where Jodi Bieber gave an artist’s talk about her practice as a photographer, about her career and background and about the challenges she faced and still faces in trying to shoot portraits that change people’s minds.
Here some links to reports on the Kampala leg of the exhibition. This post will be updated with new publications as they come – stay tuned.
Kabbo Ka Muwala addresses thorny issues by Andrew Kaggwa, The Observer, 20 April 2016
Ugandans depict journeys of migration through abstract art by Malcolm Webb, Al Jazeera, 20 April 2016 (video)
Kabbo Ka Muwala, an artistic take on the thorny subject of immigration by Stephen Ssenkaaba, New Vision online, 28 April 2016
Kabbo Ka Muwala: mirando la migración a través del arte by Jaime Fernández Gianzo, Wiriko. Artes y Culturas Africanas, 29 April 2016
Chikukwa, Raphael; Hoffmann, Katharina; Lähnemann, Ingmar; Peters-Klaphake, Katrin and Potts, Lydia (eds.) 2016.
KABBO KA MUWALA – THE GIRL’S BASKET. Migration and Mobility in Contemporary Art in Southern and Eastern Africa. Berlin: Revolver Publishing.
The itinerant exhibition “Kabbo ka Muwala” explores the multitude of migration processes in and from southern and eastern Africa primarily through the work of artists from these regions: photo works, videos, mixed media, sculpture, performance and installations. The artists address dimensions of migrants’ agency and identity, the emergence of transnational spaces as modes of cohabitation in local, regional and global contexts as well as experiences of violence and xenophobia.
“Kabbo ka Muwala” translates as “the girl’s basket”. The expression is understood across Eastern Africa and refers to a traditional practice: in a basket, the bride transports presents to her new family and her parents in turn. Metaphorically, the basket represents expectations and hopes, but also disappointments and setbacks, which come with marriage as well as with processes of migration. In the exhibition title, it also serves as a hint that migrations are gendered processes. The exhibition catalogue combines artistic and curatorial perspectives with essays on contemporary African migration from cultural studies and social sciences.
Design by Jan Kühnemund [www.kühnemund.de]
Exhibition project, website
Revolver Publishing Berlin
T +49-30-616 092 36
F +49-30-616 092 38
Migration and Mobility in Contemporary Art in Southern and Eastern Africa
Makerere Art Gallery in Kampala, Uganda: April 15 – June 12, 2016
Artists: Berry Bickle (ZW), Jodi Bieber (ZA), The Border Farm Project (ZW/ZA), Rehema Chachage (TZ), Mimi Cherono Ng’ok (KE), Kudzanai Chiurai (ZW), Anawana Haloba (ZM/NO), Kiluanji Kia Henda (AO), Wanja Kimani (KE/ET/UK), Miriam Syowia Kyambi (KE), Gerald Machona (ZW/ZA), Immy Mali (UG), Nástio Mosquito (AO), Victor Mutelekesha (ZM/NO), Mwangwi Hutter (DE/KE), NakivArt/Anke Fischer (UG/DE), Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa (UG/UK), Xenson (UG), Helen Zeru (ET), Rut Karin Zettergren (SE)
Curators: Raphael Chikukwa, Katrin Peters-Klaphake and Ingmar Lähnemann
Assistant Curator: Anna Kućma
KABBO KA MUWALA – The Girl’s Basket presents works by 20 artists reflecting on narratives of migration
The exhibition “Kabbo ka Muwala”, conceived as an itinerant project taking place in Zimbabwe, Uganda and Germany, artistically explores perspectives on the multitude of migration processes in and from southern and eastern Africa primarily through the eyes of artists from these regions. A wide range of media, including photo works, videos, mixed media, and installations will propose alternative reflections to clichéd representations of a mass exodus to the Global North.
As the opening of City Remixing by HIPUganda is approaching, we would like to introduce the exhibition and the photographers who are a part of it in a greater detail.
City Remixing presents five different perspectives on Kampala by five different photographers coming from different places and times. The exhibition reflects on progress and development of Kampala city over the years. It also makes us reflect on the possibilities and limitations of photographic visualisations of urban environments at large.
Dr. A.T. Schofield (UK/Uganda) was a missionary and physician who worked under the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in Uganda for quite some time during the first half of the 20th century. He was also an acomplished amateur photographer. He documented Kampala, but also other events and places based on his social surroundings (a visit by Lady Baden Powell to the Ugandan girl guides for instance) and interests (he made, among others, photographs of a milking ceremony in Toro and life in Karamoja). Part of his photographic legacy has been donated to the Africana section of the main library of Makerere University and digitised by HIPUganda. This made the material available for further research and for use in this exhibition.
Eng. M.W. Wambwa was born in 1928 and is one of the first western trained engineers in Uganda. Journalism and photography would have been his second career choice. During the first half of the 1960s he photographed on slides, creating a colourful image of Uganda around independence. He also wrote an extensive memoir. The photographs and fragments of the memoir form the core of the fifth book in HIPUganda’s Ebifananyi series.
Elsadig Mohamed (Sudan) is a photographer and filmmaker. In his photographs in this exhibition the focus is shifted. It is sometimes hard to be sure what exactly is seen. At the same time this makes it possible to see certain structures present in the city and the way it is photographed.
Luuk van den Berg (the Netherlands) is a design student at Minerva Academy in Groningen. He has a big interest in photography and was invited to rephotograph the historical photographs. He did this using a camera that produces very detailed 4×5” negatives. These negatives have more or less the same size as the glass plate negatives produced by dr. A.T. Schofield.
Rumanzi Canon (Uganda) is an artist and co-founder of HIPUganda. He zoomed out of what the historic photographs show, making places into planets, expands framed views in panoramic images, shooting, as he calls them ‘Holes in the world’.
HIPUganda looks for and digitises photocollections in Uganda to preserve historical photographic documentation, and shares that material to make increase the diversity of available materials relating to Ugandan history, activate it and potentially add value to it by crowsourcing information. HIPUganda was founded in 2011 by Rumanzi Canon and Andrea Stultiens and has been active on Facebook, through their website and exhibitions and events in Uganda as well as internationally.
Andrea Stultiens is a researcher, photographer and educator from the Netherlands. Since 2007 she has been working in Uganda a couple of months a year in, trying to understand and relate to a culture far from the one she grew up in. She is co-founder of HIPUganda and currently undertaking a PhD research that results in a series of books based on photo collections encountered in Uganda and a theoretical reflection on them. She initiated the project this exhibition is the result of, and invited Rumanzi Canon, Elsadig Mohamed and Luuk van den Berg to respond to the historical material.
Another version of this exhibition will be on display in the Netherlands from April 7th till 26th at Academy Minerva in Groningen as part of the activities of PRICCAPractice, a research group concerned with photography as part of artistic practices in and between different cultural contexts.
The opening of the exhibition in Kampala will also be the world wide launch of the fifth volume in the Ebifananyi book series, developed and designed by Andrea Stultiens, published jointly by HIPUganda and Paradox. The newest book titled UHURU. minor accidents will be available at the gallery at 40,000 UGX per copy.
We are very happy that History in Progress Uganda will return to the gallery in March with their new exhibition titled City Remixing. The opening of the exhibition will take place on Thursday, March 3rd at 5 PM.
City Remixing presents photographs made of and in Kampala through time, as seen by 5 different photographers. It shows and wants to make us think about progress and development of Kampala, and the possibilities and limitations of photographic visualisations of urban environments at large.
The opening of the exhibition in Kampala will also be the world wide launch of the fifth volume in the Ebifananyi book series, developed and designed by Andrea Stultiens, published jointly by HIPUganda and Paradox.
In April KABBO KA MUWALA – The Girl’s Basket. Migration and Mobility in Contemporary Art in Southern and Eastern Africa will open at the gallery.
The exhibition artistically explores perspectives on the multitude of migration processes in and from southern and eastern Africa primarily through the eyes of artists from these regions. A wide range of media, including photo works, videos, mixed media, and installations will propose alternative reflections to clichéd representations of a mass exodus to the Global North.
This itinerant project is based on the collaboration between Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare, Makerere University in Kampala, and Städtische Galerie Bremen, and is funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
The opening it Kampala will take place on April 14th.
Watch this space for more details and information about City Remixing and Kabbo ka Muwala.