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Uganda To Host Pavilion At 2022 Venice Biennale For First Time

In a first, Uganda will have a national pavilion at the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale this year, joining 80 other countries.

The debut Ugandan Pavillion will be titled ‘Radiance – They Dream In Time‘. It will be curated by Shaheen Merali, who is a Tanzania-born writer and curator based in London. Merali has been the head of exhibitions at major musuems like the Haus der Weltkulturen in Berlin, as well as biennials like the 2006 Gwangju Biennale in South Korea.

Curator Shaheen Merali

The pavilion will feature works by two artists, both based in Kampala. One of them is Acaye Kerunen, who is well-known in the Ugandan art scene for the wall hangings. Kerunen used materials that were used in traditional Ugandan handicrafts for centuries. For Kerunen, these materials represent both the agency of women in Africa and the role of artistic labour in the overall climate ecosystem.

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Collin Sekajugo is the other artist being represented in the national pavilion of Uganda. Sekajugo has a trademark style of creating paintings using stick images, but rendering the subject in sharp black, to challenge the western bias in racial understanding.  The title of the pavilion, as per Merali, refers to “the essential knowledge and lived experiences of Kerunen and Sekajugo in speaking to the many different territories of Uganda, as well as to urban trade and living conditions in its urban centres.”

The pavilion is sponsored by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Agency of Uganda. It is commisioned by the Ugandan official Juliana Akoryo Naumo.