Ebishushani 2, People Poses Places, Musa Katuramu

264 pages | November, 2014

In the mid 1930s, teacher and carpenter Musa Katuramu went around his neighbourhood with a simple camera to make portraits of family and friends. His portraits are remarkably intimate and revealing. This is unusual for the time and region where the images were produced. Most camera-owners were outsiders such as missionaries or colonists. Katuramu was an amateur photographer that constructed studios on site. The technology of his camera was limited but he maintained one basic rule that worked; never point your camera towards the sun.
Katuramu’s archive was carefully stored by his son Jerry Bagonza. The archive consists of roughly 1500 negatives and 750 prints that have never been shown before. The book is composed of archival images that alternate with contemporary photographs made by Andrea Stultiens and her colleague Rumazi Canon, who grew up in the same region. People Poses Places is the second publication from a series of at least eight books, which present themselves as small intimate publications with an open spine and the local word for photographs printed on it, that literally translates into likenesses.

Each one of the Ebifananyi books deals with one specific Ugandan photo collection, and is made in close collaboration with the owners of the material and other contributors. Ebifananyi 1, 2 and 3 form a trilogy, presenting examples of photographic practices in Uganda.

The book can be ordered here.

Musa Katuramu’s work has been part of several exhibitions organised and curated by me. A couple of them can be found here, and here.