And indeed, the visitors could experience much more than exhibited readymade art work. A walk through Secolliville, a performance art project by Collin Sekajugo who invited to “Imagine Kampala”; five galleries representing different Ugandan artists and giving an impression on the importance of galleries for the visual arts; different organizations presenting their work in the art and culture field of Uganda; the Yutta Konvictz Dance Society dancing in paint on the street and on canvas; a gardening school inviting the visitors to make their own decorations and jewellery out of natural materials; “Strange Fruit”: a camera obscura letting the audience experience the function of a lens; painting, video animation, poetry, dance lessons and shows, bakery, pottery, t-shirt printing, tattooing, a fashion photo shooting, a fashion walk, paper making, jewellery, dying of fabrics, traditional Ugandan children’s games, drum circles, face painting… these are only a few of the things the visitors could see and experience, invited by the artists to ask questions and to participate.
Even the stage was much more than a line up of music. Next to some young artists that had never performed in front of such a large audience the lovely street theatre and circus play “Walk in Wonder World” was premiered during the festival and Faizal Mostrixx and the Vizurii Dance Crew shared their amazing dance skills. The evening was closed by established musicians as Suzan Kerunen, Rachael Magoola and Jamal. Of course by challenging the artists to apply and giving the festival a new twist the organizers took a risk. After 7 years the audience was used to an alignment of tents all along the road. If you ad in the rain in the afternoon, some technical problems, some artists that just never showed up and only half as much artists as in 2012, you might think of it as a loss. Indeed we had “only” 3000 visitors this year. But if you took your time to talk to the artists, if you saw them challenging themselves to share their work in their “Open Studio”, if you stayed to dance after sunset to the finest Ugandan music – you would probably also think that all in all this year’s LaBa! was a success.
Of course there are more improvements to make. But that is the best challenge for us to organize the next LaBa! Arts Festival in 2014.
The LaBa! Arts Festival 2013 “Open Studio“ was only possible with the participation, collaboration, support and funding of the following:
Open Studios by: Strange Fruit, Mgbi Creations, Jon’B Arts Group, Ibrahim Katimbo, Charles Kamya, Hellen Nabukenya, Isaac Mugabi, Anwar Sadat Nakibinge, Ismael Kateregga, Bruno Sserunkuma, Pushing Art Africa, The Green Youth, Disabled’s Efforts for Development, Girl Be Project, Oribags Innovation, One & Only, VisionForAfrica, Simply African, Taloso Workshop, Japhet Ibanda, Teddy Nabisinke, Doreen Ntusiima, Grace Sheila Byeitima, Medman Designs, Julius Muyomba, Rasta Culture Fashion Collaboration, King Solomon’s Closet, Putting Sexy Back in the Movement, In Movement – Art for Social Change, Imagine Kampala, Batuuze Hip Hop Squad, Yutta Konvictz Dance Society, CIDI, UNCB, Bake Art, Pearl Rhythm Festival, Suat Tattoos, Buyonji Balls, Poetry Slam
Stage performances by: J-Saly, Kushe, Walk in Wonder World, Magic Hornz, Vizurii Dance Crew, Faizal Mostrixx, Hakim, Emilc Sinc, Juliet Sessanga, Sandy Soul, Ife Piankhi, Maraka Band, Jackie Akello, Suzan Kerunen, Rachel Magoola, Jamal
Galleries: Afriart Gallery, Mish Mash, Karibu Art Gallery, Nommo Gallery, Umoja Gallery
Organizations: Alliance Française Kampala, German Tent, British Council, Bayimba Cultural Foundation
Sponsors: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, KfW Development Bank, Embassy of Sweden, Orange, Royal Norwegian Embassy, XL Events, Coca Cola, WBS, Tella Services, DMARK Mobile, Definition Africa, Bin It! Services, Wavah Water, GraphiCunsult, Bayimba Cultural Foundation, Spear Motors Limited, British Council, Radio One. By Katharina Neidhardt