BOZAR’s Visionary Africa - Art at Work pavilion was inaugurated in Kampala by Ugandan Vice President Edward Ssekandi on September 18th 2012. The Pavilion was installed in the gardens opposite the Kampala Railway Station, an architectural landmark built in the 1930s and once part of the East African Railways line to Mombassa. The Pavilion, open and free to the public, included a showcase of local Ugandan photographers and photographic archives curated by Makerere University Art Gallery curator Katrin Peters-Klaphake and independent curator Margaret Nagawa. Immediately following the pavilion installation, arts § crafts shops set up around it, thereby confirming the base concept of the project - that art in urban settings generates life, including economic activity, and that extension of museums or galleries into public spaces respond to a real need. The pavilion was later donated to the National Museum of Uganda.
This opportune exhibition timing encompassed other cultural events: the Bayimba Festival Sept 21st - 23rd, KLA ART 012 (the first Ugandan festival of Contemporary Art) Oct. 7th - 14th, and the Uganda Jubilee celebrations of October 9th.
The project was realized in partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Kampala City Authority Council, Bayimba Cultural Foundation, and Makarere University; the generous support of the European Commission; and the valuable collaboration of the Aga Khan Development Network in Uganda, and ArchiAfrika.
This final edition of the project included an artist residency with Freddy Tsimba from the Democratic Republic of Congo (who donate da completed sculpture installation to Kampala on October 4); a workshop on artistic practices led by Simon Njami attended by 35 Ugandan artists and arts professionals, and a regional conference on the role of art and culture in city development in Africa, led by David Adjaye, attended by 70 architects, urban planners and arts managers of Uganda and the East African region. The Declaration of Kampala was adopted at this latter forum, as an example of commitment that can rally regional, national and local stakeholders in the field of art and architecture around the common goal of inclusive and sustainable urban development in African cities.