Abstract The King has been Pictured
For the past decade I have, as an artist/researcher, investigated the uses of photographic pictures in East African country Uganda. The relation between photographic pictures and memory have been well researched and argued. But this is often done from a rather one sided Eurocentric perspective on photographic pictures. Over the past decades its universality has been questioned.
A rather hybrid artistic practice, in which my role shifts from maker to curator to analyst and back again, provides the method to enter correspondences (Ingold, 2012) on (photographic) pictures with their Ugandan makers and users. Together we explore the continuously changing situated knowledge (Harraway, 1988) embedded in photographic pictures in Uganda.
One of the case studies in my PhD research is the cultural biography of one of the first photographs made in the kingdom of Buganda. Explorer Henry Morton Stanley produced it in 1875. Three vintage prints of this picture, depicting the Kabaka (King) and some of his chiefs are part of a collection of material related to the colonial past of Belgium. The photograph was hardly known in Uganda when I started showing it around. Interpretations of it were known, but not connected to their source. Together with Ugandan artists I explored and commented on the past that was, is and could remembered through the availability of the photograph and both its historical and newly made interpretations.