For the 2nd Edition of Kampala Art Biennale, the independent curator Elise Atangana proposes a theme centred around the «SEVEN HILLS» of Kampala. Emerging and international artists will take on the role of investigators by intervening in situ, within the urban fabric of Kampala on the various phenomena of urban mobility observed locally.
Kampala Biennale 2016 will introduce The Art Education Programme as a crucial part of KAB16, since one of the pillars of ‘Kampala as a City in Motion’ is to build a society that strengthens the youth with skills to think creatively, innovate and to become critical thinkers and learners ready to solve everyday challenges. Art Education and art appreciation is a way to mediate and bridge the gaps between people, cultures and art as found in large cities that try to accommodate people with diverse backgrounds.
A process of mutual exchange
KAB16’s organic strategy is to associate all the local cultural operators in an artistic project built around an open, mutual exchange. Thanks to their knowledge of the country and cultural landscape, the dynamism of their initiatives, their ability to mobilise the public and support the artists locally, they are a key driving force in the project’s success.
The Ugandan contemporary art scene is slowly building structure, with a network of promising and accomplished artists who are increasingly gaining attention. It reveals itself today as an emerging artistic territory, which needs to be encouraged and supported. Indeed, a country that creates is one that is capable of reinventing itself, while analysing its past, in order to project itself into the future. It is towards this creativity and this sensibility that KAB 16 aims to work, together with all the Kampala, Ugandan and sub-regional operators.
All the enthusiasm around Uganda’s creativity today, along with the educational advantages brought on the ground, cannot be brought to life without the active involvement of its economic & institutional operators. International and national institutions and corporates have a role to play in the Uganda creative processes. The mutual collaboration and exchanges could reinforce common values, to learn from each other and create new perspectives and build social change. In the context of institutional programmes & economic operator social responsibility initiatives, they can also benefit from these rich human and intellectual interactions.
Élise Atangana (France / Cameroon) situates her work between curation and exhibition production. Based in Paris, she envisions art as individual and collective practice.
At the end of 2015, she was in residence at Delfina Foundation in London in the context of their research project on “Public Domain”. This allowed her to further expand her research on the links between physical and virtual mobilities (movement, representation, practice), and consider their relation with contemporary art practice. How can space be activated by the physical and virtual movement of individuals? How is artistic practice influenced by these new mobilities? How does the relation to the body find an articulation with the modulation of the perception of space born out of virtuality, and what are the social and political implications?
In 2015, the exhibition Entry Prohibited to Foreigners, held at the Havremagasinet in Sweden, presented the work of 11 international artists, all of whom helped the audience put in perspective the diversity of mobilities today.
Together with Abdelkader Damani and Smooth Ugochuckwu Nzewi, Elise Atangana was co-curator of Producing the Common, the international exhibition of the 11th Dakar Biennale in 2014. She has collaborated with curator Elvira Dyangani Ose on the Lumumbashi Biennale – Rencontres Picha 2012/2013, which was entitled Enthusiasm.
In 2011, she became a founding member of the curatorial and research platform ‘On the Roof’, with Yves Chatap and Caroline Hancock, later joined by Vanessa Desclaux.
Between 2004 and 2009, she worked with Simon Njami on several exhibition projects, including Check List Luanda Pop at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007, a selection of artists from Africa Remix in the 9th Havana Biennale in 2006, and the Camouflage Art Center in Brussels in 2005.
Atangana was a jury member for the 6th Artes Mundi Prize (2014) and for the shortlist of Artes Mundi 7 (2015). She is a member of the acquisitions board of Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Fund of Contemporary Art and part of the Global Mobilities Futures Network (GMF).