KAB20 Opening Statement EU Ambassador, Attilio Pacifici

KAB20 Preview graced by H.E Caroline Adriaensen the Head Of Cooperation European Union Delegation who represented the Ambassador

The European Union (EU) in Uganda is delighted to bring to you the Kampala Art Biennale 2020 (KAB20). 

The EU sponsored also the 2018 edition of the KAB, as this event is a landmark in the Kampala art life. The EU is strongly committed to support creativity, freedom of expression, international dialogue and youth empowerment. We also see that there is great potential in the creative industries to create new jobs, especially among the youth.

The 2020 edition seemed to go as smoothly as the previous ones: eight internationally renowned artists were invited to create artworks in their specialised field, jointly with selected apprentices. Suddenly, the breakout of Covid-19 forced the KAB20 to find a creative way to continue the journey yet to cope with the restrictions imposed worldwide by the pandemic.

Thus, masters and apprentices worked together in virtual spaces through zoom calls and whatsapp groups, engaging in online debates, sharing online resources, recordings, documentation, visualisations etc. Web developers, creative thinkers, 3D experts and digital artists were mobilised to create a virtual art exhibition.

The end result is a work of art in itself: online visitors are engaged in a lively journey, which is a total experience; they will enter virtual buildings, they will virtually climb on roofs, virtually run through corridors, and virtually reach the peak of the journey on top of the apex mountain.

The EU is also particularly pleased to highlight that behind the virtual exhibition there is an incredible team of young and courageous Ugandans who made it against all odds. Thanks to them, the KAB20 is the only virtual 3-D biennale in the continent, whereas other African biennale have been postponed due to Covid-19.

I would like to use this example of KAB20 to underline how important is for governments to ensure online access, especially at a time when physical meetings and events are restricted for health reasons.  

Besides the art exhibition, the edition 2020 of the KAB included dedicated workshops for young people in less privileged areas, such as Bwaise and Kyriandongo. The objective of these workshops, under the KAB20 theme “Stand up, Get up”, was to improving young people’s self-awareness about their role in the society. In compliance with Covid-19 restrictions, 50 young people were able to attend each workshop. Through art, dance and brainstorming, they were encouraged to express themselves and find their own strength to address their problems; they will share these skills with their peers.  

Make yourself comfortable and enter in the dreamlike world of the Kamapala Art Biennale 2020.

Attilio PACIFICI Ambassador/Head of Delegation

European Union Delegation to Uganda


Enter the Experience