“Our commitment to the arts seeks to acknowledge Africa’s artistic heritage, protect its legacy and contribute to shaping its future. Projects such as the Kampala Art Biennale have the ability to develop artists and new audiences and offer supporting organisations the unique opportunity to realise this commitment.” – Daudi Karungi, Director of Kampala Art Biennale
to Kampala Art Biennale
Founded in 2014, Kampala Art Biennale’s vision is to create equilibrium among the four corners of the African continent and continue to solidify the position of contemporary African art on the global art stage. The Biennale was strategically positioned in Kampala city because of its potential to become a contemporary art destination on the African continent. For, despite growing interest in contemporary African art, very little attention has been paid to the East African region. The few events that exist focus primarily on traditional art forms, providing a less comprehensive view of contemporary art forms.
The Biennale is thus established to recognise, support and integrate African contemporary art being created on the periphery of mainstream information avenues.
Kampala is Uganda’s capital city and economic centre. It is also the largest urban centre in Uganda with a population of six million people. Endowed with a diversity of ethnic groups, a blossoming economy, and its warm and friendly people, Kampala offers a wonderful introduction to Uganda. In the last decade, Kampala’s art scene has seen the establishment of several art organisations (32°East, Bayimba Festival, Nyege Nyege festival, Maisha Garden and film lab), Art events (Laba Arts Festival, Klaart, Kampala Biennale), commercial galleries (Afriart Gallery, AKA Gallery, Nommo Gallery), art spaces (Makerere Art Gallery, Weaverbird foundation), programmes (Atwork, Art at Work), critical contemporary local artists and an emerging art-aware middle class.
Given the political, economic and social situation in Africa, the Kampala Biennale provides the platform for freedom of expression, social cohesion, and representation of cultural identity. This is especially important given the ongoing need for regional integration of the East African community. The people in Kampala are leading the creative cultural renaissance, which was made evident at KAB14/16 when over 30,000 visitors attended the 14 exhibitions, showing works by 70 artists from 25 countries.