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Ekifananyi Kya Muteesa

Ekifananyi Kya Muteesa Press Image 4 (1)

Matt Kayem’s interpretation of Stanley’s photograph, photographed by Andrea Stultiens (2016)

 Ekifananyi Kya Muteesa: An exhibition exploring the first photographic portrait made in Uganda. Makerere University Art Gallery/IHCR, April 14th – May 14th. Opening reception April 13th, 5pm.

From a letter, written by Henry Morton Stanley:

            Ulagalla, Mtesa’s Capital, Uganda, […] April 12th 1875

Mtesa is about thirty-four years old, and tall and slender in build, […] but with broad shoulders.

            His face is very agreeable and pleasant, and indicates intelligence and mildness.  

If we would be able to go back 142 years in time we would find ourselves in the middle of Ssekabaka Muteesa I’s reign over Buganda. We might have been among the crowd welcoming Henry Morton Stanley who visited Buganda on his journey to confirm the source of the Nile. It is widely known that Muteesa’s welcome of Stanley resulted in a call for missionaries to come to Buganda. Little known is that Stanley was the first visitor to Buganda who carried a photo camera with him.

Stanley used one of his last glass plate negatives to portray Kabaka Muteesa with his chiefs. This led to depictions of Muteesa that are widely known in Uganda. The photograph these depictions are based on, on the other hand, is not part of a Ugandan collective memory.

In the 1870s it was not yet possible to reproduce photographs in print. The two volume book that reports on Stanley’s journey through East Africa is therefore illustrated with woodcuts. Some of these woodcuts are based on photographs by the author. The illustration of Muteesa and his Chiefs is one of these pictures. In this interpretation of the group portrait the facial features of the men depicted seems to deviate from the photograph. The men are no longer black. It would not be a stretch to call the woodcut a mis-interpretation.

The combination of the observed absence of the photograph from collective memory and its misinterpretation led to this exhibition. It shows responses to the photograph by a wide range Ugandan artists and picture makers and Dutch artist and researcher Andrea Stultiens who initiated the project. Some of the artists explore the photograph formally. They make us see things in the photograph that we might not have noticed with their skillful interpretations. Others approach the picture and its historical and contemporary context in a critical manner. They are questioning the unfolding of history, and want us to think about what could have been had events taken different turns.

The Photograph was made by Henry Morton Stanley (1875). Collection Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium.

Ekifananyi Kya Muteesa is on display from April 14th till May 14th 1974. It includes contributions from (in alphabetical order): Andrea Stultiens, Canon Griffin, Daudi Karungi, Eria Nsubuga, Eva Dembe, Fred Ndaula, Henry Mzili Mujunga, Ian Mwesiga, Margaret Nagawa, Martha Namutosi, Matt Kayem, Migisha Boyd, Nathan Omiel, Odama Jacob, Papa Shabani, Piloya Irene, Ronex Ahimbisbwe, Sanaa Gateja, Timothy Erau, Violet Nantume, Wasswa Donald.

During the opening of the exhibition on April 13th Timothy Erau will make one of his ‘light paintings’ of a performance/installation with and by Martha Namutosi / Piloya Irene / Nathan Omiel / Sanaa Gateja and students from UCU Mukono.

Ekifananyi Kya Muteesa was curated by Andrea Stultiens with Robinah Nansubuga, Martha Kazungu and Canon Griffin. A book featuring the work of all the participating artists will be published later in 2017.

Please note:

A free copy of the photograph made by Henry Morton Stanley can be picked up by visitors to the exhibition as long as the print-run lasts. Visitors are requested to help spread the presence of the photograph in Uganda by photographing it in their respective houses and, in turn sharing that photograph on the HIPUganda Facebook page.

On April 29th Maisha Moto, the monthly talks at Maisha Gardens in Buziga, will be devoted to HIPUganda’s Ekifananyi publications. The afternoon’s motto is ‘How to have a conversation with the past’, and will include discussions with Henry Mzili Mujunga, Violet Nantume, Canon Griffin and Andrea Stultiens.

Ekifananyi Kya Muteesa is made possible with the support of: Hanze University of Applied Arts Groningen, Mondriaan Foundation Amsterdam, Embassy of the Netherlands in Kampala.

Migisha Boyd’s interpretation of Stanley’s photograph (2016)








Coffee Cameras: Documenting climate change in Uganda


This exhibition opening on 27th through 30th March features  photographs on climatic change by a group of 12 coffee farmers as well as Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow Tim McDonnell. We shall have a discussion about the images and their implications, featuring, among others, Tim McDonnell, IITA scientist Onno Giller, farmer-photographer Sam Massa from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at Makerere Art Gallery on the day of the opening.

In February, twelve coffee farmers on Mount Elgon spent a week using disposable cameras to document how climate change is impacting their lives. Their images offer a beautiful, creative, and intimate insight into coffee farmers’ daily lives and the struggles they face from drought. Coffee is Uganda’s most important industry, and it faces an existential threat from climate change. Already, farmers across the country are suffering from rising temperatures and unpredictable seasonal rainfall.Smallholder farmers are among the people who are most victimised by climate change, yet they rarely have a chance to tell their own story to the public. This project aims to change that.

This event, a collaboration between the US Fulbright program, National Geographic, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, will be the first gallery exhibition of these photos.

Different But One – 21


Stephen Gwoktcho, Austerity ,Oil on canvas

Different But One is an annual exhibition  featuring the most recent bodies of work by the teaching staff at Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Art (MTSIFA). For the past 21 years, the show has been taking place at Makerere Art Gallery/ Institute of Heritage Conservation and restoration. The exhibition opened on the 18th of February 2017 and it will end on 15th March 2017.

In her opening remarks,the Curator Rivka Uziel expressed gratitude towards all the members of staff who participated in this exhibition, as well as thanked them for their trust and cooperation.


Curator Rivka Uziel (extreme left) having a chat with some of the guests at the exhibition opening.


Philip Kwesiga, Ceramic Vases


Installation shot

The dean of MTSIFA , Dr. Maria Kizito Kasule mentioned that the work exhibited must not be mere artworks but rather visual presentations and papers demonstrating  content and methods of the design process as expected in the field of visual arts.

Participating members  include: Rivka Uziel, Maria Kizito Kasule (PhD), Lilian Nabulime (PhD), Prof Philip Kwesiga (PhD),Stephen Gwoktcho, Bruno Sserunkuuma, Ronald Mpindi (PhD), Assoc Prof George Kyeyune, Fred Kizito Kakinda, Donald Nantagya, Annette Sebba N, Rose Kirumira (Phd), Edward Balaba, Paul Lubowa, Abbey Kato, Assoc Prof  Francis Ifee, Rina N Edopu, Godfrey Banada, Jacob Odama, Andrew P Yiga(PhD), Joseph Sematimba, Angelo Kakande (PhD), Amanda Tumusiime (PhD).



FACESUP ART EXHIBITION – 20TH-28TH October 2016. 4PM at Makerere Art Gallery




Influence is a controversial word in itself. The artist, Kalule Emmanuel, came to realize that many people in this world live their lives with inspiration basing from others that is to say role models. And these people have so much they contribute to the lives of the people who look up to them.

Considering the fact that many youths draw inspiration from persons they are attracted to and think they rhyme with in terms of character and status, He came up with an art campaign called facesup which intends to inspire the people in our country through the sharing of knowledge from the icons who are ranked high in Uganda and therefore their lives and experiences can be a source of inspiration for others.

This project is intended to create a platform for youths to interact with people they admire and feel are influential. Secondly, We will be able to express art skills and share with the community such that some of the issues our country is facing which include loss of hope among the youths, unemployment and crime prevention and above all drug abuse are solved.

Art can be used to solve world issues and problems, therefore with facesup, We have come to give another view about the potentials that some people have which they can exploit so that they can earn a living, get self-employed and learn from role models.

In Uganda, the rate of unemployment is high and this is especially more witnessed with both the educated and uneducated youths who account for the biggest percentage of the country`s population. The success of everything is constrained by our vision and the traits of the people we emulate the youths in our country have potential that needs to be exploited.

This is why faces up was born with an aim to use the experiences and knowledge of some of the great people, who have succeeded in life so that they can share, guide and interest the societies to embark on their unexploited talents and potentials.

The reason as to why the artist considered using portraits of icons in our country is the fact that so many people are being influenced by their lives. This has had an impact on life style, fashion and approach to life which is even more relevant for facesup to be embraced.

In an attempt to unlock hindrances to a better life which is subjective, facesup has come to inspire, motivate and change the peoples’ views towards their abilities.

We believe each person has a purpose and objective to serve in a community.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 20th for the official opening as we meet the people we look up to.




 Kampala Art Biennale.

The Institute of Heritage Conservation and Restoration (IHCR)/Makerere Art Gallery will host a segment of the “The Seven Hills ”.
“The second edition of the Kampala Art Biennale, titled “Seven Hills” and conceived by Elise Atangana, will be held from September 3rd to October 2nd, with a preview on September 2nd, 2016. The Kampala Art Biennale, KAB16, is organized and produced by the Kampala Arts Trust, a private initiative. We are happy to be offering Ugandan audiences exhibitions, screenings, talks, performances, meetings with the invited artists and enhanced educational programme for young people.”

Seven Hills is an organic project that focuses on concepts of Mobility Studies which includes the movement of people, objects, services or digital/virtual travel and how it affects us in our day lives. The researches explore “mobilities futures”, the links between physical and virtual mobilities (movement, representation, practice), and consider their relation with contemporary art practice:

As part of the Biennale program will be: (HI)STORIES OF EXHIBITION MAKING / 1960 – 1990 symposium.On Sunday, 4 September 2016
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

VENUE: Uganda National Museum

With George Kyeyune, Katrin Peters-Klaphake, Sidney Kasfir, Ozioma Onuzulike, Katharina Greven, Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi, Nadine Siegert and Moses Serubiri Organiser: IWALEWAHAUS, Bayreuth The public symposium “(Hi)Stories of Exhibition Making / 1960 – 1990” is part of the research project „African Art History and the Formation of a Modern Aesthetic“ at Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth in cooperation with the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt a. M. and Makerere Art Gallery (IHCR) in Kampala. This research project seeks to examine not only the singular collections of African Modernisms that are housed today in the collections but also to look at past, present and future connections between them. In the symposium, we share recent research on the history of exhibitions of African Modernisms. Website:


“Let’s Talk about Omweso” by Dr. Rose Namubiru Kirumira


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.



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.

kodi 10

The Artist
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.

Kabbo ka Muwala – Impressions

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.



Martha Kazungu and Rumzanzi Canon working on the installation of “The Flower” by Rehema Chachege, who is seated at the bottom right. Photo by Anna Kućma.

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


Katrin Peters-Klaphake and Raphael Chikukwa talking about the exhibition to the press. Immy Mali’s installation in the foreground, behind them “Rose’s Relocation” by Miriam Syowia Kyambi. Photo by Eric Mukalazi.


Press conference. Photo by Eric Mukalazi.

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.


Crowds gathering at the opening. Photo by Eric Mukalazi.


Xenson’s installation “Musisi” outside of the Gallery on the day of the opening. Photo by Erick Mukalazi.


The German Ambassador, Dr. Peter Blomeyer, speaking at the opening of the exhibition. Photo by Lawrence Musoke.

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.


Helen Zeru performing “Aesthetic of Shyness”. Photo by Anna Kućma.


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.


Members of the artists’ collective NakivArts talking about their video and installation created together with Anke Fisher. Photo by Eric Mukalazi.

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.


Jodi Bieber presenting her body of work “Between Dogs and Wolves. Growing up with South Africa” during her talk. Photo by Eric Mukalazi.

Kabbo ka Muwala – Website


Just a gentle reminder that the exhibition project Kabbo ka Muwala has its own website with lots of information, an online version of the catalog, and a blog. The latest entry is on the opening in Kampala – please go and have a look!

Kabbo ka Muwala – Press

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


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