Twenty Ugandan artists made their interpretation of the first photograph made of a Buganda monarch. The picture, made in 1875 by Henry Morton Stanley has been (mis)interpreted by engravers. Even though the pictures that are known in Uganda of Kabaka (King) Muteesa are based on Stanley’s photograph, the original was barely known. The Ugandan artists all responded to the formal qualities, or the historical and political realities it relates to. Together they provide a deep reading of the photograph, and give it what I consider to be important and rightful exposure in present day Uganda.
Artists participating in the exhibition: Canon Griffin, Daudi Karungi, Eria (Sane) Nsubuga, Eva Ddembe, Fred Kato Mutebi, Fred Ndaula, Henry Mzili Mujunga, Ian Mwesiga, Margaret Nagawa, Martha Namutosi, Matt Kayem, Migisha Boyd (b40deep), Nathan Omiel, Odama Jacob, Papa Shabani, Piloya Irene, Ronex Ahimbisbwe, Odama Jacob, Sanaa Gateja, Timothy Erau, Violet Nantume, Wasswa Donald. My role was that of initiator, curator (with Kazungu Martha, Canon Griffin and Robinah Nansubuga), and artist.
I wrote several long blog posts leading up to, and accompanying the exhibition. They contain more background to Stanley’s photograph and its spin offs, and feature the artists participating in the show =. The posts can be found here: