The LaBa arts festival has a long tradition with Kampala’s culture and art scene.
For the eighth edition, it is back this weekend with, not only a changed face, but also its location. This year, the festival moves from the Goethe institute on Mackinnon road in Nakasero, where the past editions have been held, in preference for the public spaces. This is in order to challenge artists and audiences to perceive and experience art.
The two-day festival organised under the theme The City is our Space, will have its first stopover at Kisementi parking lot on Saturday. This will attract the participation of the surrounding bars and restaurants’ artists, exhibiting their works in relation to the city. In the middle of the parking lot will be a stage, giving platform to the musical programme that will run until midnight. This will then continue with DJs from the surrounding clubs.
On Sunday, the festival will move to Nsambya at Kabega road where the real street festival will be held. Here, artists will involve the community in performances and art projects such as dance workshops, street theatre, mural painting, installations, concerts and more. The street will be turned into a lively art space enjoyable for everyone and hopefully achieve a semblance of the beautification of the area.
LaBa arts festival is a multidisciplinary display of various artistic expressions outside their usual spaces and conditions, which are not accessible or recognised by everyone. What LaBa tries to achieve is a situation in which people meet, exchange, discuss and enjoy each other’s ideas, expressions and performances. This includes all types of artistic expressions – music, dance, visual and digital art, spoken word and literature, theatre and performance art.
“Over the years, we have realised that the festival has to change its structure and approaches in order to respond to the actual needs and movements of the art scene of Kampala. This is also the basic philosophy of the LaBa Arts Festival. This results in a flexible concept that allows new impulses and creativity for each edition,” says Katharina Neidhardt, Goethe institute’s Cultural Coordinator.
This year’s participating artists include: AfriArt Gallery, Art for a Cause, Art Punch Studio, Breakdance Project Uganda, Brian Kizito, Butterfly Project Uganda, Destreet Art Studio, Disability Project Uganda, End of the Weak, and In Movement – Art for Social Change.
Others include: Inspirationz Dance Company, Kampala Film School, Jimmy John Ogwang, Simon Peter Katumba, Namulondoh Rashidah, Sandra Nakitto Suubi, Bryony Bodimeade, Lucy Swan, Manya Cultural Foundation, Njema Art Studio, One & Only Fashion Label, Picturing Wanteete, Press Play Entertainment, Pushing Art Africa, WaMEP, Immy Mali & Ian Mwesiga, Writing Our World, Jon B, Girl Be Project, Newz Beat Uganda, and many more.