There are significant differences between the words used for ‘pictures captured on light sensitive surfaces with the use of a camera’ in Luganda and in English. Ekifananyi is the Luganda word that is used to signify a photograph, but it does not mean a photograph. The noun “ekifananyi” is derived from the verb kufanana, meaning to be similar to. Based on this observation, Dutch artist Andrea Stultiens started to investigate the implications of this particular conceptualisation of photographs, which led to a series of eight books titled, “Ebifananyi,” the plural of the singular ekifananyi. In presentations of historical photographs from Africa, Uganda was—until recently—only mentioned in relation to photographs produced by non-Ugandans or members of the Ugandan diaspora. The first three books in the Ebifananyi series change this status quo by presenting photographs produced by Deo Kyakulagira (1940-2000), Musa Katuramu (1916-1983) and Elly Rwakoma (ca.1938).
The photographic legacy of these men is activated in collaborations with family members and, in the case of Rwakoma, the photographer himself. Curator Andrea Stultiens and Ugandan artist Canon Griffin responded to the historical photographs in pictures and films.