KLA ART 014: Snapshots and Summaries from Kampala’s Contemporary Art Festival

KLA ART 014 Kampala Contemporary Art Festival has been circulating the streets, and Railway Station, of Kampala for 28 days. The festival showcased contemporary artists from Uganda and Uganda’s neighbouring countries to the public. This year, the theme was Unmapped; who are the unheard voices of our cities? How can we represent and celebrate the unseen urban-dweller? With the 31st being the final day of the festival, the organizers share some of their highlights with us.

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Left to right: Installing Helen Nabukenya’s artwork, Golden Heart, on the wall of Kampala Railway Station. Artwork by Mulugeta Gebrekidan, winner of the KLA ART 014 Innovation Award.
 
Throughout the month of October, Kampala’s Railway Station saw an exhibition by ten artists from Uganda and Uganda’s neighboring countries, all newly commissioned works, representing the artists’ interpretation of the Unmapped.
 
Festival Exhibition Artists:
Dennis Muraguri (KE)
Francis X. Nnaggenda (UG)
Helen Nabukenya (UG)
Helen Zeru (ETH)
Mulugeta Gebrekidan (ETH)
Paul Bukenya Katamiira (UG)
Paul Ndunguru (TZ)
Tony Cyizanye (RW)
Vithois Mwilambwe (DRC)
Vivian Mugume (UG)
 
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Clockwise from top right: Josh Kagimu during the Boda Boda Project on Kabaka Anjagala rd. Pushing Art workshop. Tour of Ronex Ahimbisibwe’s studio. 
 
The Railway Station became the platform from which the Boda Boda Project was launched. Twenty Ugandan artists each took one motorcycle taxi and transformed the vehicle into unique installations. Driving through the city and to a significant Kampala public space each day, the boda bodas set up to form temporary exhibition spaces to showcase their ideas and conversations to incredibly diverse publics.
 
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Boda Boda Regional Workshop in Fort Portal. 
 
Boda Boda Project Artists:
Anest Gabriel Shaloom (UG)
Babirye Leilah (UG)
DAPU (UG)
Derrick Komakech (UG)
Kino Musoke (UG)
Grace Sarah (UG)
Joshua Godwin Kagimu (UG)
Reagan Kandole (UG)
Simon Katumba (UG)
Kizito Mbuga (UG)
Immy Mali and Ian Mwesiga (UG)
Sandra Suubi Nakitto and Enock Kagga Kalule (UG)
Adonias Ocom Ekuwe (UG)
Ogwang Jimmy John (UG)
Papa Shabani (UG)
Petro (UG)
Richard Wasike (UG)
Ronex Ahimbisibwe (UG)
Stacey Gillian Abe (UG)
Xenson (UG)
 
Some of the highlights of KLA ART 2014:
 
The Artworks: The scope of art produced, as well as the enormous talent shown can be viewed here 
 
Opening Night: A star lit evening with over two hundred guests exploring the artworks inside and along the platforms of Kampala Railway Station.
 
Awards Ceremony with Robert Devereux, founder of the African Arts Trust.
 
Winners of KLA ART 014 Awards:
 
• KLA ART 014 Innovation Award: Mulugeta Gebrekidan (Ethiopia)
• KLA ART 014 New Talent Award: Papa Shabani (Uganda)
• KLA ART 014 Audience Award: Joshua Kagimu (Uganda)
 
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Artwork by Papa Shabani, winner of the KLA ART 014 New Talent Award.  
 
The Symposium invited local and international delegates to explore the theme of Unmapped and unearthing the histories of exhibition making in Kampala.
Speakers included: Patrick Mudekereza, Odile Tevie, Moses Serubiri, Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa and Sidney Kasfir.
 
Interactive workshops engaged new audiences as part of KLA ART. Maisha Film Lab, Pushing Art and Uganda Visual Art and Design Association ran the workshops.
 
Artist Studio Tours were aimed at Unmapping Kampala’s artist studios with special matatu buses driving through the city delivering tours of people to Kampala artists’ workspaces.
 
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Clockwise from top right: In conversation with Robert Devereux, founder of the African Arts Trust. Artist Kandole Reagan at the public opening of KLA ART 014. Global Crit Clinic workshop, Kampala. Boda Boda artist Ongwang Jimmy John. 
 
KLA ART 014 has been an experiment of minds and of conversations. The project is a two-year process of thought, production and promotion of contemporary Ugandan and East African art.
 
ARTsouthAFRICA is proud to be an official media partner of KLA ART, and looks forward to KLA ART 2016.
 
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 Left to right:Performance piece by Helen Zeru. Award Winner Papa Shabani at the VIP Opening.