For the fifth edition of KLA ART, 32° East invites artists and the general public to view cultural heritage through the lens of care. Our 2024 theme is Care Instructions; thinking about cultural heritage in Uganda as a series of instructions that we have received on how we might live well. With oral tradition breaking down due to globalisation and rural-urban migration, we explore how the festival can be a space for artists and audiences to engage with indigenous/local knowledge as care instructions and apply them to the concerns of today.
For the festival, care is defined as “(a) species activity that includes everything that we do to maintain, continue, and repair our ‘world’ so that we can live in it as well as possible. That world includes our bodies, our selves, and our environment, all of which we seek to interweave in a complex, life-sustaining web*” From knowing each wind by name, to seeking healing among plants, to rain-making; through folklore, totems, and taboos, indigenous communities in Uganda and around the world have long practised the maintenance, continuation and repair of our world in ways that sustain life. These practices are handed down to younger generations through ‘cultural heritage’, and yet heritage is often framed in the past, frozen in time and not interacted with as a living, evolving thing. As we inherit a world where human, plant, and animal life is threatened due to climate collapse, our ability to know how to care for this planet in this moment is an increasingly urgent question.
For KLA ART ’24 we invite artists to explore how their own cultural heritage can be viewed as instructions for care in these times. What different ways of relating to each other, to the land and to other forms of life have been passed down to us through our clans, tribes, and communities, and can they be reformulated for now? Through the festival we will be questioning which care instructions are no longer being preserved, which care instructions would we hope to pass along to future generations and which ones we might want to invent anew.
We look forward to working with artists who are moved by this invitation and we will be led by their interests. Artists will be supported with the budget and connections they need in order to produce new works, or new conversations on existing works, that spur us all to imagine how older ways of knowing and being can provide us with new visions for an uncertain future.
The proposed work can vary in medium (installation, performance, graffiti, photography, sculpture, film, etc)
Artists will have the opportunity to create their works from April to July for showcasing throughout the month of August at selected locations in Kampala. KLA ART ’24 will take place across multiple venues throughout the city, with the main location being outdoors.
Artworks must be ready for showcase by 1st August 2024
Artists who have participated in previous festival editions may apply for KLA ART ’24 as part of a collective or propose programming around the theme e.g workshops, talks, walks etc
NB: The work produced for KLA ART 2024 will not be for sale