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Zerihun Seyoum Adoption oil-on-canvas-2013

KAMPALA ART BIENNALE 2014 – Progressive Africa

By Daudi Karungi

The Kampala Art Biennale 2014 project

consisted of an exhibition of around 100 artworks and included paintings and photographs by 45 artists from 13 African countries, working under the theme Progressive Africa and included panel discussions on the relationship between Art, Culture and Tourism. This initiative is part of a strategic partnership that exists between The Kampala Arts Trust and the Uganda Tourism Board.

 THE THEME: Progressive Africa

Progressive Africa is a theme derived from the current Pan African – and increasingly global – discussion surrounding the “AFRICA IS NOW” versus “AFRICA IS THE FUTURE” debate.

Today in Africa, you will come across divergent conversations between many nationalities; 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. In these conversations there is talk about which strategies are the best to accelerate Africa’s progress towards fulfilling the millennium development goals (MDG’s) such as curbing poverty and improving formal education amongst others. There are even those who express doubt whether this education is important at all. 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 or as it moves into the future.

The Kampala Art Biennale 2014 was part of the discussion under the theme PROGRESSIVE AFRICA, 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 can be seen in the 100 or so images that are either for or against the purported progress, with viewers and visitors joining in on the discussion with the help of the visual aids. We believe that this will result in the continued questioning of African political, social and economic practices.

The Kampala Art Biennale 2014 was conceived to serve as a conduit through which to start the debate that is so desperately needed right now about a modern and progressive Africa, starting right here in Kampala. There is a need to generate discussions centered on looking beyond the current, aid-assisted (some would say dependent) status, to the home-grown financial and human resources Africa needs to enable transformative growth.

 

SELECTED ARTISTS

Uganda: Ronex Ahimbisibwe, Paul Ndema, Kalungi Kabuye, Anwar Sadat Nakibinge, Eria Nsubuga Sane, Joshua Ibanda, Ronnie Tindi Chris, Ronald Kerango, Henk Jonker, Wasswa Donald, Babriye Leila, Gillian Gibbons, Shelley Van Heusen

Kenya: Samuel Githui, Justus Kyalo, Yassir Ali Mohammed, Brian Omolo, Michael Soi

South Africa: Samson Mnisi, Senzo Njabulo Shabangu, Nico Phooko, Rael Salley, Daniel Rankadi Mosako, Sylvie Phillips, Sipho Mpongo, Juan Orrantia

Ethiopia: AlexanderTadesse, Ezra Wube, Yonas Melesa, Zerihun Seyoum

Angola: Angel Ihosvanny Felicidade

Ghana: Florine Demosthene, Akwele Suma Glory

Nigeria: Ufuoma Isiavwe, Olusola Otori

Togo: Da Costa Kwami

Cote d’Ivoire: Gopal Dagnogo

Zimbabwe Tashinga Matindike Gondo, Danisile Ncube, Rudo Nyangulu, Nick Monro

DRC: Georges Senga

Mali: Harandane Dicko

Tanzania: Jan van Esch

 

The Kampala Art Biennale 2014 took place from the 1st – 31st August 2014 and was held at the Uganda Museum, Nommo Gallery and the Makerere Art Gallery. The event was organised by the Kampala Arts Trust.

For more information, please contact:

The Kampala Arts Trust, Mobile: +256 712 455555 / +256 772 461139. Website: kampalaartstrust.org

Uganda Tourism Board, 42 Windsor Crescent, Kololo, Kampala. Tel: (041) 4 342197. Fax: (041) 4342188. Website: www.visituganda.com