in kampala

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Spotlight: Rose & Fitzgerald Jewelry

Rose & Fitzgerald is more than a just a home goods and jewelry company; it’s a story built on every facet of genuine love. Romantic love, the love of Africa, and the true love of craft.

Founded by a Californian couple who fell in love with the beauty of the indigenous materials and craftspeople they encountered in their adopted home of Kampala, Uganda, the birth and intention of Rose & Fitzgerald was crystal clear from the jump: to share this beautiful part of the world with others who seek ethically made, unique goods that reflect the wild landscapes they are inspired by.

In a world where many artisan goods are produced in factories and peddled by mass marketing campaigns, Rose & Fitzgerald connects its supporters to something truly authentic and ethical.

Affordable, unique, and one-of-a-kind, the brands current product line ranges from home accessories to inspiring bracelets, rings, earrings, and more. Rose & Fitzgerald’s unique foundation and consciousness has solidified its brand as a definite one to watch. Shop here!

Photography: Hazel & Pine

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Let’s pretend, for a moment, that you are a 22-year-old college student in Kampala, Uganda. You’re sitting in class and discreetly scrolling through Facebook on your phone. You see that there has been another mass shooting in America, this time in a place called San Bernardino. You’ve never heard of it. You’ve never been to America. But you’ve certainly heard a lot about gun violence in the U.S. It seems like a new mass shooting happens every week.
You wonder if you could go there and get stricter gun legislation passed. You’d be a hero to the American people, a problem-solver, a lifesaver. How hard could it be? Maybe there’s a fellowship for high-minded people like you to go to America after college and train as social entrepreneurs. You could start the nonprofit organization that ends mass shootings, maybe even win a humanitarian award by the time you are 30.
Sound hopelessly naïve? Maybe even a little deluded? It is. And yet, it’s not much different from how too many Americans think about social change in the “Global South.”
If you asked a 22-year-old American about gun control in this country, she would probably tell you that it’s a lot more complicated than taking some workshops on social entrepreneurship and starting a non-profit. She might tell her counterpart from Kampala about the intractable nature of our legislative branch, the long history of gun culture in this country and its passionate defenders, the complexity of mental illness and its treatment. She would perhaps mention the added complication of agitating for change as an outsider.
But if you ask that same 22-year-old American about some of the most pressing problems in a place like Uganda — rural hunger or girl’s secondary education or homophobia — she might see them as solvable. Maybe even easily solvable.
I’ve begun to think about this trend as the reductive seduction of other people’s problems. It’s not malicious. In many ways, it’s psychologically defensible; we don’t know what we don’t know.
If you’re young, privileged, and interested in creating a life of meaning, of course you’d be attracted to solving problems that seem urgent and readily solvable. Of course you’d want to apply for prestigious fellowships that mark you as an ambitious altruist among your peers. Of course you’d want to fly on planes to exotic locations with, importantly, exotic problems.
There is a whole “industry” set up to nurture these desires and delusions — most notably, the 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the U.S., many of them focused on helping people abroad. In other words, the young American ego doesn’t appear in a vacuum. Its hubris is encouraged through job and internship opportunities, conferences galore, and cultural propaganda — encompassed so fully in the patronizing, dangerously simple phrase “save the world.”

Ian Mwesiga (Ugandan, born 1989), Black Man in a White Suit, 2016, acrylic on canvas

Ian Mwesiga is a dynamic figurative painter living and working in Kampala. This powerful piece is from a new body of work in which Mwesiga references the aesthetics and sentiments of the Black Arts Movement, considered to be the literary and visual arts wing of the Black Power Movement that emerged in the USA in the 1960s. He utilises this ideological visual language to challenge the ethnographic gaze focused on post-colonial African society by creating striking reflections and proud celebrations of social identity in the context of a highly racialised world.

Mwesiga graduated with a BA in Fine Art from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts in 2014. He has undertaken residencies at 32° East, Ugandan Arts Trust, Kampala and Kuona Trust Centre for Visual Arts, Nairobi, both in 2014. His works have been exhibited in a solo exhibition at AKA Gallery Kampala, in 2014 as well as numerous selected group exhibitions including Forward Ever Backward Never, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, 2015, East African Encounters, Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, 2014, KLA ART 014, Kampala Contemporary Art Festival, 2014 and Moving Africa, Dak’Art Biennale, 2014. Mwesiga participated in the At Work workshop facilitated by Simon Njami and the Asiko Art School in Maputo facilitated by Bisi Silva and CCA Lagos, both in 2015.

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Ezale Swaibu, second from right with his band; Gobiri Liki Jazz Band in Yumbe district, North Western Uganda.

START WHERE YOU ARE
“I used to be a beggar, my wife left because I became blind and I was dragged around by my children begging until I got this vision 4 years ago. I knew I had to take up courage and use my walking stick to move. I cultivated cassava and started keeping rabbits and goats. From zero, I now have 12 cows and I have put up a permanent family house"

I AM ENJOYING THE DREAM!
I lead the Gobiri Liki Jazz Band, which performs at social events. I compose songs that teach about peace and love to end gender-based violence in this community. Now, I feel more organised. My children go to school, I have a new wife, I enjoy good meals and if there is anything to do in the family, they join me and we work together. ©Jjumba Martin / Oxfam

Sorry I've been inactive lately: I've been obsessing over

•The Book of Mormon (musical)
•Elder McKinley
•Elder Price
•Elder Cunningham
•Spooky Mormon Hell Dream
•McKinely in SMHD
•"you had the hell Dream didn’t you…? Was I in it?!?!“
•The awkward/long stare after
•McKinley literally trying to kiss Price during “THATS IT I HAVE TO GO SEE THE MISSION PRESIDENT”
•"Africa is NOTHING like lion king. That movie took some serious artistic license.“
• Man Up
•Elder Poptarts
•Starwars backpack
•"I LIE ALOT!”
•Turn it off
•The sparkly pink vests
•Price being generally confused when he has a vest
•McKinley just casually brings tap shoes and sparkly pink vests to Africa
•McKinley brings enough sparkly vest to Africa for everyone but Cunningham
•McKinley owns that many sparkly pink vests
•Steve Blade
•Price denying having gay thoughts
•McKinley’s dancing in the Turn it off dance break
•McKinley holding Prices hand on their way to the rooms.
•the tap dance
•McKinley in I Am Africa
•"BECAUSE YOU CLEARLY MADE A MISTAKE (turn it off)“
•"AND LET ALL OUR FEELINGS OUT”
•Jesus’ robe LIGHTS UP
•MRS. BROWN
•"The police are in kampala! two days drive away!”
•Price holding the baby
•"HOLEY MOLEY I SAID IT LIKE 13 TIMES”
•"fuck you god in the mouth, ass and cunt-a” “fuck you in the other eye”
•"such a hot shade of black! like a latte”
•"a little confused” “OOH CONFUSED?” (This translated in my head to: “I’m just a little confused” “Hi I’m Connor McKinley I’m gay too”)
•"A SIX SEVEN EIGHT” (tapdancing to the rooms)
•"THEY’VE GOT NO DOORBELLS, WHAT DO WE DO WHAT DO WE DO–?”
•"i have maggots in my scrotum” “you should probably see the doctor” “i am the doctor”
•"those were CHRISTIAN missionaries, we’re mormons!”
•Price’s breakdancing
•“what the fuck is a stake knife?”
•Elder Thomas ‘accidentally’ read a playboy
•"yes, YES HE DI-ID”
•Price getting the Book Of Mormon shoved up his ass
•"the cHINESE ARE THE REAL PROBLEM”
•"YOU WANT IT MORE, BABY?”
•Price’s limp
•The coffee bar scene
•literal golden plates
•NABULUNGI WROTE THE ENTIRE THING
•McKinley’s pink suitcase
•Everything about Elder McKinley.
•McPriceley
•Everything about The Book Of Mormon
•MCPRICELEY

moonlight kingdom
pale figures only
lit by the full moon
angels dancing
in back alleys so dark
white wings glowing
in laughter escaping
the shadows which
creep up their souls
poison dripping
from chapped from lips of
angels so broken
willing to fall
for the beauty of mankind
a passing spark of
happiness

Eria ‘Sane’ Nsubuga (Ugandan, born 1979), The Stare Down, 2015, mixed media on canvas

Eria Solomon Nsubuga also known as ‘Sane’ is a painter, sculptor and illustrator. His recent works use vivid colours and strong brushwork to address politics of black aesthetics and the effect of globalism on notions of beauty in the African context.

This painting is from the exhibition Black Face, White Masks, in which Sane explored Frantz Fanon’s ideas of colonization of culture and identity, in the contemporary context of global cultural hybridity.

Sane graduated from Makerere University in 2008 with an MA in Sculpture from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Kampala. A practising artist since 1999, he has participated in numerous auctions, fairs, workshops and exhibitions, including the Johannesburg Workshop for Theory and Criticism, University of Witwatersrand, the Cape Town Art Fair 2015, the Kampala Contemporary Art Biennale 2014, Kampala Contemporary Art Festival KLA ART 012, the Florence Biennale 2011, Fabrica: Les Yeux Ouverts, Centre Pompidou, Milan Triennale, and Tajan, France, 2007.