Eyob Kitaba
©

32° East

 

In Uganda, our work focuses on music, visual arts, film and literature and is delivered through partners.

Our current offer builds upon the success of previous work with WAPI (Words and Pictures), the Crossing Borders Programme and Rock Music Rock Art, a collaboration between the Ruwenzori Foundation, the London Sinfonietta and the British Council for CHOGM 2007.

Read about some of our our more recent projects below. If you are interested in partnering us on an arts project, please contact us.

Music

DOADOA - 2015

British Council was once again proud to be part of the  fouth  edition of DOADOA.  Following tradition the main events were held in Jinja, Uganda to allow DOADOA to mature and grow further before moving on to the next country in the East African region. During the day  trainings, panel discussions and networking sessions took place while in the evening  selected bands showcased their work  from East Africa . Performing artists and bands were invited to register for the various training and panel sessions .

DOADOA - 2014

For the third year running, British Council Uganda was proud to support DOADOA , the East African Performing Arts Market – a professional development and networking platform for both regional and international industry stakeholders in the performing arts business. DOADOA opened on 6 May 2014 at the Uganda National Cultural Centre and then headed to Jinja from 7 to 10 May, where visitors interacted with a wide range of musicians, artists and industry professionals from around the region and Europe.

UK music festival - 2011

In 2011 we enabled a partnership between Un-Convention – a UK music festival – with its Ugandan counterpart, Bayimba, to collaborate on an East African Music showcase. This led to the development of DOADOA, an East African performing arts market that runs every May in Jinja, Uganda. To further boost the development of the market, the British Council has supported the presence of music professionals from the UK to network and share experiences with peers and artists from the East African region. This has allowed the market to thrive as a platform for music discussions through panel sessions, music showcases, and collaborations in the recording studios.

Visual arts

Creative Enterprise Training - 2016 

British Council partnered with NESTA to deliver Creative Enterprise training in Kampala from 14 – 18 March 2016.

The aim of the workshop was to create opportunities for creative entrepreneurs from across East Africa to meet and build networks, gain access to teaching materials and increase business skills around setting up a creative enterprise.The participants were from 5 countries; Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

Shakespeare Lives - 2016

Throughout 2016, as part of ‪#‎ShakespeareLivesBritish Council is supporting VSO in order to help give children around the world the education they deserve.

The Regional Visual Arts Exchange Programme - 2015 

Starting in September 2015  represenatatives from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania begin a six week tour of ecah country. This programme offers emerging artists the opportunity to create strong networks of support and promote the art of each country across the region. The program also provides opportunities for artists to create and exhibit their work across East Africa and bring new ideas and inspirations into the region.

KLA Art 014  - 2014

During October 2014 British Council once again supported KLA Art 014 as it showcased the work of various artists around the city. Boda Boda (motorcycle taxis) were turned into artworks, ‘mapping’ Kampala, by forming temporary exhibition spaces in pre-selected locations across the capital.

Ugandan Arts Trust/32 °East  - 2012

The British Council was proud to support the Ugandan Arts Trust/32 °East in developing new East African Art. In September 2012, 12 shipping containers were placed around the capital of Uganda, Kampala, to showcase new artworks. The aim of the initiative was to increase interest and appreciation of contemporary art by the general public. 

Film

EU-Uganda Film Festival - 2015

The Euro-African Kampala Film Festival was back in Kampala for a second time time from 16 to 27 June 2015. As part of the festival the The British Council screened the “THE IMITATION GAME” at Cineplex Nakumatt Oasis Mall on 18 and 28 June.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightley, the movie is a 2015 nominee for Best Picture and has also received 7 other nominations. The Imitation Game is a movie about Alan Turing, a man who invented the world’s first computer and is credited for cracking the un-breakable code of World War II Enigma machine in the 1940’s.

 

EU-Uganda Film Festival - 2014

In 2014 the  British Council took part in the Centenary year of World War 1. On 27 November British Council showcased the movie War Horse at Alliance Francaise. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this epic drama details the remarkable bond between a man named Albert(Jeremy Irvine) and his loyal horse, Joey.

EU-Uganda Film festival - 2013

In September 2013 in collaboration with other European Union (EU) states, the British Council took part in the EU-Uganda film festival where we showcased the best of British film Searching for Sugar Man, a 2012 Swedish–British documentary film directed and written by Malik Bendjelloul.

Literature and Creative Writing

The British Council collaborated with the African Writers Trust and FEMRITE to support new Ugandan writing. This resulted in the Caine Prize for Literature bringing its 2013 residency programme to Uganda in April 2013, bringing UK and international writers together.

Impact Stories: Meet Choreographer Rachael Nanyonjo

Meet Rachael Nanyonjo, choreographer, director and  teacher at Middlesex University. She was recently in Uganda under the Artists International Development Fund project. She spoke to Collins Muhwezi at British Council Uganda about her experience as a choreographer.

 

Q. To start please tell us a little about yourself?

I started choreography in 2011   when I began Kansaze Dance Theatre. I was pursuing my Masters’ degree in Choreography and Directing at Middlesex University then. Kansaze is my middle name, that’s why I chose it as my company name.  I wanted  a name that would reflect my heritage and identity. Though Kansaze is still a young company, it works with a number of actors, writers and dancers. We like doing work that is inspired by society.

 

Q. How did your professional journey begin?

I feel I have been more of a choreographer than a dancer. I have always been interested in creating  professionally.  After my master’s degree in 2012 I began making small plays for emerging artists in UK like The East London Dancers Frequency, The Places Resolution. Thats when I started gaining recognition. From I worked with the Emerging Artists Commission from the Barry Boys and the London Theatre to develop Two One, a project that is still on going.
 
Q. You were recently in Uganda under the Artists International Development Fund. Tell us how you became involved with the project and your partnership with Tabu Flo?

I came to know about Tabu Flo through Mercy Nabirye the Director of Ad Art, UK. She  encouraged me to visit them and I was quite amazed to see the work they were doing with Batalo East. Then  I saw the company perform at the 3 Generations Conference in the UK. I was impressed and wanted to get involved. They really understood my idea of merging tradition with contemporary. So I formed Artists International Development and based the project at Tabu Flo . I also created a resource pack for documenting Uganda’s traditional dances.

 

Q. What activities did you plan with them during your visit?

I interviewed Stephen Rwangyezi, the Director of Ndere Dance Troupe and  recorded his show . It covers 52 traditional dances from across Uganda. I also met local dancers who work in morden dance like Amiina Namakula and Break Dance Uganda. We shared dance techniques skills and I learnt quite a lot from them.

 

Q. What did you achieve while in Uganda?

I  shared my skills with young artists. I find it important for artists to be inspired by all sources from home and internationally. Contemporary dancing is growing in Uganda. I  learnt more about traditional dances. Partnerships are improtant as well and I  continued building mine with Tabu Flo. Its im[ortant to help bridge the gap between Ugandan contemporaty dances and the rest of the world. I am glad to be a part of that.

 

Q. In your experience, how is choreography in Uganda in comparison to the UK?

Each country is different and brings different ideas. What I find very rich about choreography in Uganda is the strong link to our history. By the time we begin designing the  costume, lighting, movement and music we are already telling a story. Artists from other region can learn from this. The quality in both Uganda  and the UK is fantatsic. The only difference is in infrastructure. We also need a continued support in Uganda for up coming artists in music drama and dance

 

Q. What more needs to be done to build the profession in Uganda and get more people involved in choreography?

I think it begins with creating links and partnerships. Teaching choreography to the youth would also be a good way to strengthen the industry. Eductating people about choreograpghy could also be included in this strategy. Another great way would scholarships based on music and dance. This way the scholars could return and support local artists back home. Choreography has great potential as a career. One can work at the Olymipc, in theater, at fairs and ceremonies. Choreograpghy is an exciting and creative world. 

Impact Story: Fred Batale, General Manager 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust

Fred Batale, General Manager 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust is one of several artists with disabilities around the world that is taking part in   Unlimited’s placement programme this year. Before he left for the UK Collins Muhwezi caught up with him in an interview...

Tell us about the project you are working on?

Disability Art Project Uganda (DAPU) started In late 2013. As a community of Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s), we came together with an aim of empowering other people with disabilities to develop practical skills, confidence and fulfill their creative potential. DAPU offers art and design skills to people with disabilities living on the streets and in slums. We help them to create unique art products which they sell to earn a living. Together as a community we use art to advocate for the rights of PWDs in Uganda.

Since it began  23 PWDs have completed skills trainings  at 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust and thousands more through our public engagement advocacy projects such as the presented at Kampala Capital City Festival, KLAART 014 and LABA art festival.

How did your professional journey begin?

My journey started in 2009. I got enrolled at Makerere University on a government scholarship studying a bachelor’s degree in industrial and fine arts.  After graduating in 2013 I began working at 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust, creating and developing an artistic library. Since then I have worked on various management roles and I am currently the general manager. After struggeling to become an artist I decided to establish the Disability Art Project Uganda a platform where I can serve and pave the way for other PWDs.

Tell us a bit more about Unlimted?

Unlimited is a programme that funds art by disabled artists and is based in the UK.  As part of Unlimited’s international remit and commitment to skills development, it offers a professional placement to a disabled person based outside the UK who is working, or beginning to work, as an arts producer, curator or administrator. I applied and was offered a placement as an Arts Administrator.  

This placement happens alongside the Unlimited Festival which offers talented disabled artists funds and mentoring support to develop, produce and showcase their ambitious work. The aim of Unlimited is to embed work by disabled artists within the UK cultural sector, reach new audiences and shift perceptions of disabled people

What activities have been planned for during your time in London?

It is short term professional work experience and learning opportunity. The role involves providing support to the teams at Artsadmin help coordinate events and manage administrative tasks. I will also help  manage artists during the festival at Glasgow.

What do you hope to achieve while you are there?

This is an exciting opportunity for not only me but also PWDs in Uganda and the whole arts community.  I will be able to learn how Artsadmin has been able to embed disability  into the UK  art scene, which is a big challenge to me as someone trying to achieve the same in the Ugandan art sector. The placement offers me the opportunity to meet different people working in different disability art scenes including administrators and artists and to network and share ideas with different people. Lastly, I will be able to present my work to international audiences, which is very exciting

About Unlimited 

Unlimited is an arts commissioning programme that aims to embed work by disabled artists within the UK and international cultural sectors, reach new audiences and shift perceptions of disabled people. Unlimited is delivered by the disability-led arts organisation Shape Arts and arts-producing organisation Artsadmin.