Nantume Violet

  • Xenson, Gazaya HP, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 55 x 47".
    picks December 20, 2021


    In “LumiimaMawugwe,” the latest exhibition by the artist, musician, filmmaker, fashion designer, and poet Xenson, he responds to the experience of the pandemic by drawing on his own prescient earlier bodies of work: namely, his 2015 series “Barakoa” (Swahili for “mask”) and his 2016 “Afro Goth” fashion collection, in which face coverings featured prominently. The show’s title reflects the attempt to translate Covid-19 into Luganda and communicate its gravity to a population reluctant to listen. Within the exhibition, the coinage is used to point to the period leading up to last year’s presidential

  • Stephen Goldblatt, Okonkwo, the tragic hero, Nigeria, 1970. Film still from Things Fall Apart, directed by Jason Pohland.
    picks November 24, 2021

    “Film Stills by Stephen Goldblatt”

    Fifty years after the 1971 film adaptation of Things Fall Apart was first screened in Bonn, Germany, Nigerian-born, Berlin-based photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi and Gisela Kayser, the artistic director of the Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus, have joined forces to curate a show of production film stills taken by Stephen Goldblatt. Having first opened at various venues in Lagos, the exhibition is now on view at the Uganda Museum as well as in a virtual display online.

    Adapted from the novels Things Fall Apart (1958) and No Longer at Ease (1960), two parts of Chinua Achebe’s so-called African Trilogy,

  • View of Odur Ronald’ s Muwawa, 2021. Photo: Tamie Clicks.
    picks October 29, 2021

    Odur Ronald

    A commission of the fourth KLA ART, a city-wide contemporary art festival produced by 32° East, Odur Ronald’s installation, Muwawa, 2021, compares the purported value of a bullet to that of human life. Installed at the artist’s Afropocene StudioLab in Kabalagala, Muwawa confronts visitors with a living room setup meticulously modeled after objects from Odur’s own home that were crafted out of aluminum printing plates. In a departure from the usual interior decor, however, Odur has added a chandelier of twelve hundred cast-aluminum bullets, suspended from copper wires. The work was informed by

  • Salah Elmur, Golden Jubilee, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 60 1/2 x 56 1/2.
    picks May 07, 2021


    Since the 1970s and ’80s, the trope of exile has become quite common for practicing artists in East Africa, and yet stories of cultural figures seeking refuge within the continent—rather than, say, in Europe or America—are still seldom told.

    The reasons intellectuals, artists, poets, and writers in the region left their homes in this period were rarely voluntary. In the mid-1990s, Hussein Halfawi, Salah Elmur, Eltayeb Dawelbait, and Abushariaa Ahmed—four students of the College of Fine and Applied Arts Khartoum, an institution that helped to foster the “Khartoum School” of the 1960s—would leave