With artists Maria Brinch, Lilian
Nabulime, Bathsheba Okwenje, and Miriam Watsemba.
Exhibition is curated by Martha Kazungu.
Miriam Watsemba, Beyond the scars, 2019.
How do we even harvest the right words to speak about an ongoing crisis
without igniting trauma, especially among victims of war?
Since 2013, South Sudan has been embroiled in a Civil War. Over four
hundred thousand people have perished and four million others displaced,
majority of whom are living in refugee camps in Uganda. Because of the enraging
war in South Sudan, the country continues to disfigure the faces of its citizens
and to expose them to terror, destitution, and homelessness.
Beyond the Scars, a photography documentation by Miriam Watsemba, narrates
the story of one of the victims of the South Sudanese Civil War. Miriam
presents a visual narrative of the struggle to heal both physically and
emotionally. The work is a reminder that even though an amicable end to the
crisis is attainable, victims continue to struggle for many more years. They
grapple with varied forms of scarring.
What could the artist be trying to tell us when she calls her sound
piece reminiscing the ongoing crisis End? Bathsheba Okwenje’s audio
piece takes off with the sound of birds singing amidst rubbing of machines
against the earth. As the clip progresses, it obtains a stable rhythm of the
sound of women panting. End is just one artwork by Okwenje in this
exhibition, but it belongs to a bigger artistic practice in which the artist
continues to research and record moments and stories around crisis.
Lilian Nabulime’s art practice has, over the past two decades, worked
with making sculptures with the intention of addressing and sensitizing people
about HIV/AIDS, an epidemic that has cost and disrupted many lives in Sub
Saharan Africa. Her sculpture Angel stands out in this exhibition as a
fitting gesture of calm and tranquility, but it also neatly represents the persona
Brinch's textile works, with their painterly qualities, connect to both classic
decorative textile and our contemporary digital recordings of lived lives. They
are stepping from a critical exploring of the different dimensions of meaning
in a folded material, both materially and emotionally. By folding, she suggests
new possibilities and the power of transformation through the textile material.