Ebifananyi is the title of a series of eight publications by History In Progress Uganda (HIPUganda). Each book is centred around one Ugandan photo archive, exploring its narrative possibilities with images, supported by text. The series present the results of engagement with archives by the HIPUganda initiators and a wider circle of Ugandans in compelling stories and beautifully designed and printed books. The noun Ebifananyi is derived from the verb Kufanana, and means to be similar to. It’s the Luganda word for drawings, paintings and photographs and to indicate two-dimensional likeness.
In 2011 Andrea Stultiens and artist Rumanzi Canon initiated the platform HIPUganda. They aim at digitalizing photographic material in Uganda to prevent the loss of historical archives, which are often threatened by challenging conservational circumstances. Furthermore, the two founders aim to keep the archive alive by connecting the information to the public. Since both founders are also image-makers and not archivists or conservators, they came up with the idea to create possibilities to engage with the digitized material. Archives are dead until the content is handled by people who connect it with reality somehow. The book series Ebifananyi is the first out of several projects that encourages engagement with the material that HIPUganda manages to disclose.
The first publication, The Photographer – Deo Kyakulagira, was released in May 2014. People, Poses Places – Musa Katuramu, is the second publication and was released in November 2014. The third publication, All the Tricks – Elly Rwakoma, was launched in May 2015. Simuda Nyuma – Forward Ever Backward Never, the fourth publication was released in June 2015. The latest addition to the series, UHURU – minor accidents ENG. M.W. Wambwa, was launched in April 2016.
Paradox and Fotomuseum Antwerp (FOMU) are currently developing a presentation on Ebifananyi, which will be on show in 2017.
Over the past years, the books from the Ebifananyi series, were used as starting point for several exhibitions. The annual HIPUganda exhibition at Makerere University Art Gallery 2015 was dedicated to the presenting work of Musa Katuramu and Elly Rwakoma, respectively Ebifananyi II and Ebifananyi III.
In 2015, Andrea Stultiens and Robinah Nansubuga curated the group exhibition Simuda Nyuma – Forward Ever Backward, with work inspired by the archive of the Ugandan chief Ham Mukasa (Ebifananyi IV).
Ebifananyi IV inspired Stultiens to create the installation Go Forward, on show as part of the group exhibition Global Imaginations in the Meelfabriek Leiden in 2015. Twenty contemporary artists were invited by Museum De Lakenhal to show their vision on our globalized world.
Books from the Ebifananyi series
Ebifananyi I – The photographer – Deo Kyakulagira
In Ebifananyi I the reader gets to know Deo Kyakulagira through the likenesses he produced of himself, and the way he documented the world around him. Partly as a father, partly as a professional photographer. Stories told by family members and others remembering Central Art Studio Ltd. give an idea of the context in which Central Art Studio ltd operated and developed when Deo Kyakulagira ran it.
Ebishushani II – People Poses Places – Musa Katuramu
In People Poses Places we delve into the collection of Musa Katuramu. In the mid 1930s, teacher and carpenter Musa Katuramu went around his neighbourhood with a simple camera to make portraits of family and friends. His portraits are remarkably intimate and revealing. This is unusual for the time and region where the images were produced. Most camera-owners were outsiders, such as missionaries or colonists. Katuramu was an amateur photographer who constructed studios on site. The technology of his camera was limited, but he maintained one basic rule that worked; never point your camera towards the sun. His son Jerry Bagonza carefully conserved the archive. The archive consists of roughly 1500 negatives and 750 prints that have never been shown before. The book consist of archival images that alternate with contemporary photographs made by Andrea Stultiens and her colleague Rumazi Canon, who grew up in the same region.
Ebishushani III – All the Tricks – Elly Rwakoma
Elly Rwakoma (born 1938) grew up in Ankole and is currently running a farm close to Bushenyi. In his younger days he was a presidential photographer, worked for industrial companies, made school photographs and ran a photostudio. Being an inventive person and darkroom operator, Rwakoma has not been afraid to try out experiment with a thing or two and to stand up for what he believes in. Ebifananyi 3 tells the story of Rwakoma’s discovery with photography; what he could do with it, and what it did with him. The viewer delves into the surroundings and conditions in which Rwakoma worked (or was withheld from work). The focus lies onto the artist’s photojournalistic images, which due to various circumstances went missing. The mysterious story behind this loss guides the viewer through the publication.
Ebifanayi IV – Simuda Nyuma – Forward Ever Backward Never
Simuda Nyuma is the title of a trilogy written during the 1930s by Ham Mukasa (1870-1956), who was important chief of Baganda – a kingdom in south-central Uganda. Being highly educated and one of the first literate in the region, Mukasa wrote about the lives of three kings that ruled Buganda from ca. 1850 until the 1930s. Inside Mukasa’s family collection, which includes photographs, books, manuscripts and documents, curator Andrea Stultiens found a list with descriptions for illustrations. These illustrations were meant to be shown in the trilogy on the life of the three kings, but were never created. Intrigued by this document, Stultiens assigned Ugandan and Dutch artists to interpreted and create the illustrations. As a result, the book presents the story of Ham Mukasa via a combination of documents from the family archive and new illustrations from various contemporary artists, which place the unknown history into today’s setting.
Ebifananyi V – UHURU – minor accidents – Eng. M.W. Wambwa
In this fifth part of the series, Andrea Stultiens delves into the archive of Eng. Wambwa (1928), an engineer from a small community in eastern Uganda. Shortly before they met he had burned all of his negatives, but luckily the slides Wambwa made in the early sixties survived. These slides show a colourful family life and the world around it. The book includes images by contemporary artists, who made work in response to Eng. Wambwa’s archive. Rumanzi Canon (Ug) shot ‘holes in the world’, Elsadig Mohamed (Sd) shifted his focus and Luuk van den Berg (NL) used black and white film to explore the city.
Ebifananyi VI – Duc in Altum – Dive into the Deep – St. Mary’s College Kisubi
The sixth book in the Ebifananyi series is based on the photo collections of St. Mary’s College Kisubi, and the archive of the Brothers of Christian Instruction, who ran the school, that was founded by the White Fathers in 1906 in 1926. The book tries to invoke thoughts and discussion about both the good and the questionable sides of the formal educational system in Uganda that was set up by various missionaries.
Ebifananyi 6 was launched first at the school it is about, then with an exhibition at the Uganda Museum in Kampala. An extra large book was made in an edition of one as part the continuing research and for the European launch. Another part of the things still going on in relation to this book, initiated by one of the editors of the school magazine remakes will be made of some of the historical photographs in this book.
New publication: Picha V
The fifth book from the Ebifananyi series1 May 2016
In this book Andrea Stultiens delves into the archive of M.W. Wambwa, an engineer and amateur photographer from a small community in eastern Uganda. The fifth volume from the Ebifananyi series is now available.Read more
Nous souhaiterions vous rencontrer à Arles!
Programme Paradox at Arles6 July 2016
From July 4 until July 10 the opening of Les Rencontres d’Arles takes place, with international photography events in parts of the city. Paradox is at Arles to present the latest publications and projects. We’d love to meet you there!Read more