Ebifananyi @ Photoville NY

Dumbo, Brooklyn | September, 2018

The photo festival in shipping containers Photoville in New York gave me the opportunity to present ‘The Photographer’s Trilogy‘ to its vast audience. I designed an installation based on previous exhibitions in Makerere University Art Gallery, Mbarara High School and FoMu.

The sequence that follows starts with the design proposal and continues to the actual container. Unfortunately I was not able to make or see the actual installation, but based on the photographs provided by the festival and co-exhibitor Judith Quax, it all worked out well, including the big prints distorted by the uneven container walls.


“There are significant differences between the words used for ‘pictures captured on light sensitive surfaces with the use of a camera’ in Luganda and in English. Ekifananyi is the Luganda word that is used to signify a photograph, but it does not mean a photograph. The noun “ekifananyi” is derived from the verb kufanana, meaning to be similar to. Based on this observation, Dutch artist Andrea Stultiens started to investigate the implications of this particular conceptualisation of photographs, which led to a series of eight books titled, “Ebifananyi,” the plural of the singular ekifananyi. In presentations of historical photographs from Africa, Uganda was—until recently—only mentioned in relation to photographs produced by non-Ugandans or members of the Ugandan diaspora. The first three books in the Ebifananyi series change this status quo by presenting photographs produced by Deo Kyakulagira (1940-2000), Musa Katuramu (1916-1983) and Elly Rwakoma (ca.1938).

The photographic legacy of these men is activated in collaborations with family members and, in the case of Rwakoma, the photographer himself. Curator Andrea Stultiens and Ugandan artist Canon Griffin responded to the historical photographs in pictures and films.”