Art Practice as a Field of Articulatory Engagements: Fred Mutebi's Promotion of Barkcloth in Local and Global Networks

Siegenthaler, Fiona. (2019) Art Practice as a Field of Articulatory Engagements: Fred Mutebi's Promotion of Barkcloth in Local and Global Networks. Basel Papers on Political Transformations (18/19). pp. 35-57.

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This essay presents a major project of artist Fred Kato Mutebi that involves a particularly high and diverse number of stakeholders, aesthetic traditions, entrepreneurial initiatives and social engagement. Known since the beginning of his career as an inventive and experimental artist, university-­trained master printer Fred Mutebi started some years ago to explore the ecological, technological, aesthetic, cultural, political, social and economic potential of barkcloth, a culturally significant material with a long tradition in Buganda. By promoting the production of barkcloth, facilitating training opportunities, opening up new creative markets, and emphasising the sustain­ability and cultural value of barkcloth, he successfully links different local, national and international discourses within his practice as an artist and as a social entrepreneur. I argue that Mutebi disposes of a particular mastery in creating moments that render possible articulatory practices, and he does so with regard to different conceptual understandings of articulation. Similar to many other artists in African cities, he has developed a particular repertoire of discourses and cultural as well as artistic practices that feed into a variety of markets and stakeholder interests. As articulatory practice, this repertoire enables him to secure, expand, and source quite flexibly from several economic contexts and constituencies and helps him to operate from a flexible and likewise reliable range of positions to implement his visions.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Visuelle und politische Ethnologie (Förster)
UniBasel Contributors:Siegenthaler, Fiona
Item Type:Article
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:09 Dec 2019 10:33
Deposited On:09 Dec 2019 10:33

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