Ekifananyi Kya Muteesa, The King Pictured, by many
Ekifananyi Kya Muteesa presents a collective visual research into the social and cultural biography of the first photographic portrait made of a king in Buganda. The photograph was made by explorer Henry Morton Stanley in 1875 and was barely known in Uganda when Andrea Stultiens started this research. Interpretations of this picture are known and in use in the country.
Stultiens traced the relation between the photograph and the interpretations and invited Ugandan artists to make their own version of ‘a picture of Muteesa’. Among them are Canon Griffin, Daudi Karungi, Eria Nsubuga, Eva Ddembe, Fred Mutebi, Fred Ndaula, Henry Mzili Mujunga, Ian Mwesiga, Jacob Odama, Margaret Nagawa, Martha Namutosi, Matt Kayem, Mukiza, Nathan Omiel, Papa Shabani, Piloya Irene, Ronex Ahimbisbwe, Sanaa Gateja, Timothy Erau, Violet Nantume and Wasswa Donald. Each one of these interpretations contributes to a contemporary understanding of the photograph and brings forth an alternative for the engraving that is based on the photograph. This engraving was published in a book by H.M. Stanley. Stultiens considers to be a misinterpretation of the photograph and explains why in this book.
Andrea Stultiens is not completely at ease with calling herself a photographer, or an artist. Instead she describes herself as someone doing things with photographs. She makes them, collects them, looks at them, thinks and writes about them. Sometimes she makes the results of this visible for the rest of the world online, in books or in exhibitions. All of this is aimed at telling relevant stories about the way we relate to others and how we deal with what we consider to be our own culture.
Next to the mostly self-initiated projects Stultiens also teaches at the BFA program of Academy Minerva in Groningen, where she is also the head of the research group PRICCAPractice that investigates the use of photographs in artistic practices. The Ebifananyi book series and the exhibitions connected to it is the artistic output of her practice based research at PhDArts / Leiden University.
Photography:Andrea StultiensDesign:Andrea Stultiens, Marloes de LaatOther people:Canon Griffin
Printing:Drukkerij TienkampEdition:1stPublisher(s):Paradox, HIPUganda