Ezra Wube, Mengedu 5 (detail) , oil on canvas, 16 x 16 , 2005-12, Courtesy: Kampala Biennale
The first Kampala Art Biennale takes place in August 2014. The theme PROGRESSIVE AFRICA is derived from the current Pan African, and increasingly global, discourse that Africa’s economic growth and development is booming and happening right NOW… Popular phrases heard nowadays are: “Africa Is The Future” and “Africa Rising”.
Today in Africa, you will come across divergent conversations between different kinds of people; African with African, African with European, Indian with American, all talking about the status of Africa in the global village.
Some will say Europe and the rest of the world are moving to Africa for opportunities while others will say African economies are growing into Global markets. There is increased concern from the west about increased Chinese investment on the continent. The growing urbanization of African populations fuelled by the increased entrepreneurial shift into the service industry is also an issue of note. All these vibrations suggest one thing; that something is happening on the African continent whether right now as it moves into the future.
The Kampala Art Biennale 2014 is part of this discussion under the theme PROGRESSIVE AFRICA. It is calling on African painters, photographers, illustrators, cartoonists, writers and all 2D media artists to present their perception of the current status of Africa through visual art. The verdict will result in over 100 images pro or against the purported progress, with viewers and visitors joining in on the discussion with the help of the visual aids.
The Kampala Art Biennale 2014 is set to serve as a conduit through which to start a debate that is desperately need right now about a modern and progressive Africa starting right here in Kampala. There is a need to generate discussions centered on looking beyond aid to the financial resources Africa needs to enable transformative growth.
Artists: Georges Senga – DRC, Harandane Dicko – Mali, Alexander Tadesse – Ethiopia, Angel Ihosvanny Felicidade – Angola, Ezra Wube – Ethiopia/USA, Florine Demosthene – Ghana/Haitian, Ronex Ahimbisibwe – Uganda, Tashinga Matindike-Gondo – Zimbabwe, Samson Mnisi – South Africa, Senzo Njabulo Shabangu – South Africa, Olusola Otori – Nigeria, Da Costa Kwami – Togo, Yonas Melesa – Ethiopia, Paul Ndema – Uganda, Gopal Dagnogo – CÔte D’ivoire, Dahlia Maubane – South Africa, Juan Orrantia – South Africa/Colombia, Kalungi Kabuye – Uganda, Rudo Nyangulu – Zimbabwe, Nick Monro – Zimbabwe, Samuel Githui – Kenya, Sipho Mpongo – South Africa, Anwar Sadat Nakibinge – Uganda, Eria Nsubuga Sane – Uganda, Joshua Ibanda – Uganda, Nico Phooko – South Africa, Rael Salley – South Africa/USA, Ronnie Chris Tindi – Uganda, Ronald Kerango – Uganda, Shelley Van Heusen – Uganda/USA, Henk Jonker – Uganda/Holland, Daniel Rankadi Mosako – South Africa, Wasswa Donald – Uganda, Ufuoma Isiavwe – Nigeria, Justus Kyalo – Kenya, Yassir Ali Mohammed – Kenya/Sudan, Zerihun Seyoum – Ethiopia, Michael Soi – Kenya, Danisile Ncube – Zimbabwe, Jan van Esch – Tanzania/Holland, Babirye Leila – Uganda, Sylvie Phillips – South Africa/France, Gillian Gibbons – Uganda/UK, Akwele Suma Glory – Ghana, Brian Omolo – Kenya
PANEL DISCUSSION: Art, Culture and Tourism
The one day national discussion will be held on the 1st of August 2014 at the Uganda Museum and it will gather experts in art, culture and tourism sectors. This panel discussion aims to discuss the relationship between these sectors and to provide recommendations for collaborative strategies. The event will be broadcast live online to enable global participation.
OPENING: KAMPALA ART BIENNALE 2014
2nd August 2014, 5:30pm
Official opening of the exhibition KAMPALA ART BIENNALEProgressive Africa at Uganda Museum, Nommo Gallery, Makerere Art Gallery.
Open to the public
Kampala art biennale 2014 is partnering with other art and cultural organizations to run a series of side events. These will include;
Body Mapping Workshops and Exhibition
Date: 8th August 2014
Venue: Happier Tilapia
French Curator/Artist/Art Therapist Sylvie Groschatau-Phillips hosts a free workshop for the public and artists. Body mapping workshops are interactive experiences that nurture self-expression, healing, discussion and debate. Participants use Batik and Pastels to tell their stories. The exhibition will also showcase work from previous workshops in France, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Art and Entrepreneurship workshops
Date: 11th August 2014
Facilitators: Samson Mnisi, Taku Mkencele, Murray Ingram
Venue: Gusto, Kisementi
South African Artist Samson Mnisi, filmmaker/writerTaku Mkencele and Murray Ingram, founder of Connect. Connect is a South Africa based NGO that provides business opportunities, funding and incubator services to entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds. One of their projects is the successful Department of Coffee project in Khayelitsha Cape Town
Peace installation by Ronald Kerango (Uganda)
Bioscope under the stars
Dates: 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th August 2014
Venue: Wine Garage, Muyenga
Outdoor Screening of Short films and animation. The event will feature the Work of Kampala University Students, an animated collaboration between Ugandan musician and artist Yokman and South African filmmaker Taku Mkencele, and a short film on migration by a South African collective called Urban Clutch.
Peace Date: 22nd August 2014
Venue: Uganda Museum
Description: Ugandan artist Ronald ‘RO’ Kerango will install a massive site specific artwork made out of recycled materials. The artwork is a call for regional peace.
Presenting the mastectomy Date: 15th August 2014
Venue: Makerere university medical school
Description: An exhibition of photographs taken by medical illustrator John Nyende. The photos show step by step snapshots of the procedure of mastectomy operations.
Progressive Africa is the project’s publication presenting the exhibition and the concepts behind it. It features essays including;
“The vernacular of contemporary art, is it a manifestation of a glocal l personality?” by Bandile Gumbi “Africa, Kampala and the Irony of Progress” by Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi-art critic
“Progressive Africa? – Re questioning the current, “Africa is Now discourse versus Africa is the Future”. By Raphael Chikukwa -Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe
Daudi Karungi (Uganda)is one of Kampala’s premier artists and art promoters. He is the owner and curator of Afriart Gallery, one of the leading galleries in Kampala. He is also a conceptual artist, who’s works are collected widely by art aficionados across the world. Daudi has been at the forefront of a new movement to promote Ugandan art inside and outside the country. He co-founded START, a journal of arts and culture that is the first ever publication of its kind in Uganda. He is a founding member of the Kampala Arts Trust, a successful business man and initiator of the first Kampala Art Biennale. www.daudikarungi.com
Henry ‘Mzili’ Mujunga (Uganda) has graduated with honours from Margaret Trowel School of Industrial Fine Art (MTSIFA) of Makerere University. He is also a holder of a Postgraduate Diploma in Education of the same University. Mzili is an eclectic artist. He enjoys painting, sculpture, printmaking and performance art. He is exploring ways of reviving indigenous expression among his fellow artists. Thus he believes in networking between Ugandan and other African artists in order to share cultural content for their artwork. He is a member of the East African art group Index Mashariki that seeks to re-establish relevancy for art in the local community. He is also a member of the Pan African Circle of Artists (PACA) that links artist working for the integration of Africa through art. Mzili is the prestigious winner of the coveted Royal Overseas League (ROSL) art scholarship 2003.
Raphael Chikukwa is born in Zimbabwe and worked mainly as an independent curator for the past ten years before joining the National Gallery of Zimbabwe mid 2010 as it’s Chief Curator. He is currently the Zimbabwe Pavilion curator for the 55th Venice Biennale. Chikukwa is the founder and 1st Zimbabwe Pavilion curator at the 54th Venice Biennale 2011. After taking Zimbabwe to Venice in 2011, Chikukwa has taken part in a number of Forums that include, Re Zimbabwe Pavilion talk at INIVA (London) 1st World Biennale Forum in South Korea, KLA ART 2012 (Uganda). His qualifications and international experience earned this position at the national institution, which he hopes to change the visual arts landscape of Zimbabwe. Chikukwa was awarded the 2006 – 2007 Chevening Scholar now holds an MA Curating Contemporary Design from Kingston University London. Chikukwa is a founding staff member of the PUMA funded Creative Africa Network as an editor and advisor of the project from 2008 – 2009. Recently he was among seven Curators from Africa attending the Tate Modern Symposium “Curating Africa where he presented a paper on his curatorial practice.
Bandile Gumbi is a KwaZulu Natal raised creative writer and artist. Since 2000 she has performed in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, mainly at poetry clubs and art exhibitions. She is a founding member of 3rd Eye Vision, an artist- administrated interdisciplinary arts organisation based in Durban. She has also collaborated with visual artists and participated in interdisciplinary arts workshops and exhibitions in Cape Town through Thupelo Workshops organised by Greatmore Studios. Her poetry has appeared in magazines and journals in South Africa ; the established feminist journal Agenda has published her prose and short fiction. She performs and exhibit poetry by fusing different art disciplines as she believes that all arts come from the same creative source. Bandile has self- published a poetry book titled ‘ Pangs of Initiation’ in 2004 and is working on her second poetry book. She is currently pursuing a PHD in African Studies at the University of Cape Town with a focus on African art periodicals.
Chuu Krydz Ikwuemesi (Nigeria) is a painter, art critic, ethno-aesthetician and cultural entrepreneur who studied art at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, graduating in first class in 1992. He is the founder of the Pan-African Circle of Artists (PACA) and Emeritus President of The Art Republic (also known as Centre for Arts and Cultural Democracy), Enugu. He has participated in workshops and creative residencies and has directed Afrika Heritage (the PACA Biennale), Overcoming Maps (PACA Study Tour of Africa), and the Mmanwu Theatre in Enugu. Ikwuemesi has researched and published on aspects of Igbo arts and is presently engaged in a comparative study of Igbo and Ainu arts and cultures. He is the editor of two major journals: The Art Republic and Letter from Afrika. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and was recently a Visiting Professor at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan. He has been a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies African Humanities Program and is the coordinator of the Death Studies Association of Nigeria. A committed artist, he has held several solo and group exhibitions and has published many articles on art in professional journals.