The KAB18 Art Education Programme will focus on art critique. In order to develop a vibrant art industry, there must be Artists, Galleries, Art Critics, Art Collectors and Museums. Developing critical writing about art helps us understand art as a medium of communication. We believe that the younger generation, if nurtured and guided, will become tomorrow’s art critics and writers.
This year’s KAB18’s education programme will carry out art journalism workshops in selected secondary schools in Kampala. The workshops consist of an introduction to art history and writing and will be based on material and case studies coming forth from the artists and exhibitions, symposiums, cultural experts, guests and forums of the Kampala Biennale. The training is designed to equip arts students and aspiring art journalists with further basic theoretical knowledge, research skills and techniques in arts journalism and to stretch the thinking and practical skills and techniques of the arts journalist which they will then apply to write about KAB18 activities and exhibitions.
The workshops are targeting arts students, journalism students, aspiring bloggers and art photographers who want to become experts in writing and reporting about the arts and culture.
The main objective of the educational programme is to learn how to observe works of art, to question how they are elaborated, to interview artists and to place the works in an artistic movement. But it is also to learn how to place oneself as spectator, sensible and capable of critique. Each day of the KAB18, a journal, will be produced that will be both posted directly to city walls, to be read by all, and disseminated via a Ugandan daily and on Startjournal.org for the online audiences. A partnership could also be envisaged with owners of advertising billboards. There are other ideas for the dissemination of the participants’ writing such as an art column for a blog and on a Ugandan radio station; or associating an artist, a graphic designer, or performer who could artistically represent the dailies in an urban Ugandan space so as to produce with this written production an interaction between the public and the artists and in this way widen the audience of the Biennale. The idea is to think outside the box and use innovative ways of reaching a wider audience.
The workshops will take place in a location equipped with computers, photocopiers, telephones and an internet connection; a newsroom and an editing room; with the participation of a graphic designer, an iconographer and a secretary-editor. The group will be composed of approximately 20 participants, selected trough a call and according to their writing skills and their interest in art. Each participant is required to commit to being assiduous and to hand in their writing on time. Participation in the workshop is clearly a commitment. Each participant will be asked to define and work on a research project of their choice prior to the start of the workshop.
To learn how to look at art, how to familiarise oneself with art and artists; to consider art as a tool for freedom of expression, development and tolerance. Is culture the reflection of our traditions and our history? Or is it also a mirror held in front of the history of others, in order to better understand and criticize, or in Greek kritiké “(the art of) discernment”? At the same time it allows the Ugandan art industry to professionalise, through the learning of journalistic techniques and the redaction of texts, that will be published in newspapers. It will give the younger generation the tools to drive art as a vehicle to affect change.