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Collin Sekajugo’s Stock Image 017 - I Own Everything, 2019–22.
Collin Sekajugo’s Stock Image 017 - I Own Everything, 2019–22.

Uganda to Present First National Pavilion at 2022 Venice Biennale

The Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development has announced the details of its pavilion for the Fifty-Ninth Venice Biennale, where it will be making its inaugural appearance alongside Cameroon, Namibia, Nepal, and Oman. Curated by Tanzanian-born Shaheen Merali, the pavilion will occupy the Palazzo Palumbo Fossati and will be titled “Radiance – They Dream in Time.” The exhibition will present the work of Acaye Kerunen and Collin Sekajugo, both of whom live and work in the capital city of Kampala. Merali, formerly exhibitions chief at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt , Berlin, and a co-organizer of the 2006 Gwangju Biennale, noted that the pavilion’s title “refers to the essential knowledge and lived experiences of Kerunen and Sekajugo in speaking to the many different territories of Uganda as well as to urban trade and living conditions in its urban centers.”

Incorporating materials typically used by local craftswomen, Kerunen through a multidisciplinary practice invigorated by poetry and including wall hangings and installations, investigates the “agency of women’s work in Africa and … the role that this artistic labor plays in the climate ecosystem,” according to the ministry’s press release. Sekajugo examines the racist biases of the global mainstream the through the lens of popular culture, manipulating stock images in paintings that evince “a decidedly African sense for irreverence and play on the ad-hoc.”

The Ugandan pavilion is commissioned by Juliana Akoryo Naumo, commissioner of the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, which is sponsoring the event alongside and the Uganda National Cultural Centre. The Venice Biennale is to take place April 23–November 27. Titled “The Milk of Dreams,” it will prominently feature the work of women and gender-nonconforming artists and explore relationships between humans, various life forms, and technology.