Ebifananyi at The Uganda Museum, an exhibition relating to my doctoral research, following up on an earlier exhibition in Antwerp, Belgium and in Kampala part of KLAART18, a ‘public art festival which celebrates public art for and in the city’. The visitors of the show in Antwerp were welcomed with a letter from co-curators of the exhibition Bas Vroege and Joachim Naudts. Here they were welcomed by me:
You are most welcome to a temporary exhibition about photographs. ‘Ebifananyi’, the Luganda word that is used to signify photographs as well as other likenesses, gives you the opportunity to see a variety of historical photographs made in Uganda. It also invites you to reflect on what you see.
In 2011 Canon Griffin and I set up History In Progress Uganda, a platform that digitizes and shares historical photographs. With the help of numerous Ugandan photographers, history enthusiasts and artists I produced eight books with the same title of the exhibition. Each book presents a collection of historical photographs and contemporary responses to it. Last year an exhibition took place in FoMu, the photo museum in Antwerp, Belgium. It presented the content of these books to the Belgian audience. The conditions of this museum cannot be reproduced in Uganda.
We here present to you both two- and three dimensional documentation of that show. Photographs are always made from a particular viewpoint and the way they look depends on the technology that was available to the photographer.
It is not unusual for photographs to show what someone wants someone else to see rather than to be neutral documentation. They can be used as tools of identification and to estrange people from each other. It is my hope that the photographs that were added to the permanent museum display will make you wonder, cause recognition, show beauty and give you a valuable experience,