Co-optation as an Imaginative Act: Art-related Initiatives and Social Space in Kampala

Siegenthaler, Fiona. (2018) Co-optation as an Imaginative Act: Art-related Initiatives and Social Space in Kampala. Social Dynamics, 44 (3). pp. 526-544.

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Imagination and creativity in African cities is not always marked by rebellion, resistance, and criticism but also by the adaptation and cooptation of power-holders and elites. With limited national art infrastructures, NGO policies frequently perceived as neocolonial, and an art market that depends predominantly on foreign collectors, visual artists in Kampala tend to deploy techniques of co-optation as an imaginative act to realise their ideas and generate new audiences. This essay discusses two art-related initiatives that have had a striking impact on the contemporary art scene of Kampala, Uganda. Both projects, the Kampala Art Biennale and the Kampala Art Auction, are the result of innovative attempts by cultural practitioners to pave the way for new individual and collective art platforms in which co-optation plays a crucial role. They seek potential new patrons by activating particular physical and social spaces such as hotels, public buildings, or social networks. In doing so, they attract the interest of economic and political elites who still tend to ignore the visual arts but may become future constituents.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Visuelle und politische Ethnologie (Förster)
04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Fakultär assoziierte Institutionen > Zentrum für Afrikastudien Basel
UniBasel Contributors:Siegenthaler, Fiona
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:23 Dec 2020 04:10
Deposited On:05 Dec 2018 15:19

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