Kipya Ki? (a Lugandan phrase meaning What’s New?) is a collaboration between FORMAT and East African Photography organisation FOTEA funded by the British Council, bringing together emerging and established photographic talent within the UK and East Africa.
The artists exhibiting as part of Kipya Ki? work with digital and physical processes through mediums such as photography, sculpture, CGI, moving image and sound; experimenting through intervening, changing and altering used and new image material.
Displaying unique abilities to transform stories and images whilst navigating through unfamiliar territory, pushing the visual medium to encompass contemporary issues within social, political, industrial, technological and economical landscapes.
During the pandemic in late 2021, Facebook (and shortly after Microsoft) released its plans for a new Metaverse platform and claims it to be mainstream within 5-10 years. As we approach closer into immersive and chaotic realities, how will we deal with both online and physical realities? And in what ways has it impacted the everyday?
We already live in a world saturated by images, networks and information which are ever changing and informing our surroundings, reality and self. Concepts of process, movement and change emerge from the artist’s works as Kipya Ki? investigates various issues affecting the way we perceive and respond to historical, present and future environments coexisting between online, public and private spaces.
Through physical and digital intervention of the image and landscape, these artists shift between reality and photographic fictions.
Lidiya Zelke’s work focuses on the coded-image making process that creates metaphors going beyond physical intervention. Anchored within the physicality of the body that exists in reality and in the image, Zelke’s images imbue surreal photographs with other probable images whilst expanding upon the layering of fictions and possible future existence.
Digital paintings by Tom Faber depict explosions of un-earthed fragments whilst obscured natural and unnatural surfaces are blended, stretched and brushed across the surface of the image.
Works by Maria Ahmed invite us to search within a orb of databases, web images and book materials that are collected from online and physical sources. Assembled as an immersive constellation of collaged, moving and still images that surround and transport the observer into other worlds.
Canon Rumanzi assembles and blows out built up and natural cities forming landscapes that coexist between the constructed, globalised world and closer-to-home realities, highlighting the ability to record and alter macro and micro collective networks via the lens.
Significantly, change forms the epicentre of Kipya Ki? whilst breaking down and disseminating ways of reconstructing new, yet capricious dystopian ideas. As we increasingly approach hyper-saturated and uncertain futures, Kipya Ki? responds to and explores the discourse of photography and contemporary networks by means of decoding power, representation, ownership and liberation of new space.
Curators: Ibrahim Azab (UK) & Trevor Mukholi (Uganda)
Artists: Maria Ahmed (UK), Tom Faber (UK), Brook Getachew (Etheopia), Canon Griffin (Uganda), Felicity Hammond (UK), Carol Kagezi (Uganda), Sherie Margaret Ngigi (Kenya), Duncan Poulton (UK), Elise Wootten (UK) and Lidiya Zelke (Ethiopia).
Maria Ahmed uses collage, books and moving image to investigate his-toric and contemporary languages of photography. Her multi-layered, poetic narratives are created using her ever-growing archive of digital and printed matter. Maria was given the Photofusion Select Award 2021. She has been shortlisted for Belfast Photo Festival, FotografiaEuropea + Skinnerboox Award, Fiebre Dummy Award and Images Vevey Book Award. Education: MA Photography Arts from University of Westminster and BA English, Oxford University. Books: Heaven Speed the Chameleon, Soft Knowledge and A Place Without Ground.
Duncan Poulton is an artist based between Birmingham and London, UK. His work has recently been exhibited and screened at Ars Elec-tronica; MOSTYN, Llandudno; Coventry Biennial; Art Licks Weekend, London; QUAD, Derby; OUTPOST, Norwich; MIT Museum, Massachusetts; Eastside Projects, Birmingham; arebyte, London; CICA Museum, South Korea and Transmediale, Berlin. His debut solo exhibition will take place in July 2022 at SET Lewisham, London. He is a graduate of the University of Brighton of the Syllabus, an alternative learning programme led by Wysing Arts Centre and arts venues across England.
Elise Wootten’s practice reflects an interest in the nature of photogra-phy, the visual and physical flatness of the print, and the perspective determined by the lens. Embracing these characteristics to create illusion and taking advantage of photography’s seeming veracity. Almost sculpture, almost collage the photographs have a physical quality that play with the viewers understanding of the image. The work uses photography not only as medium but as subject.
Tom Faber. After graduating from Chelsea College of Arts, Faber has exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2019 he had his first solo exhibition Quarry at the Ionion Center for the Arts and Culture in Kefalonia,Greece. He was awarded a place on the UK New Artists and Platform Nord programme – United and worked with musicians to create ani-mations for a live audio-visual performance of Winterreise at The Loco Klub in Bristol. Faber has recently exhibited at Art Athina 2020 (AthensArt Fair), Video Fenster Cologne (2021), and at the UK New Artists City Takeover in Leicester (2022). He has also shown with the new artist platform Kovet.art at Photo London, Somerset House and CADAF Paris2021. He is currently based in London.
Carol Kagezi, a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores the evolving self. Through Kegazi’s work, she uses collage to interrogate the complexities of black Africanness, Oneness, and Order. This body of work is a product of her quest to find her identity.
Lidiya Zelkelidiya Zelke is mixed media artist from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She has been working with different organisations as a creative director and graphic designer. Her artwork usually tells stories of inner feelings, how it reveals and creates layers of ourselves, every experience , sense of anticipation , loneliness and how it cracks and pushes us throughout our journey of life by changing us irreversibly without even sensing it. Zelke’s works speaks from inner feelings and identities as human being. She has been participating in different local and international exhibitions and her work is published in various magazines including Fèroce Magazine Uk, En Vie Magazine, Picton Magazine and Vogue Italy Online.
Canon Rumanzi is a mixed media artist working with photography, painting and moving image. Rumanzi’s work surrounds ideas of language, power and materiality. Concerned with ambiguity and story-telling of the image, Rumanzi explores various future possibilities. In collaboration with Andrea Stultiens, Rumanzi founded the digital platform History In Progress Uganda
Margaret Njeri Ngigi is an artist and photographer/filmmaker. Based in Kenya, she is currently pursuing her Bachelor Degree in Film Production and Directing at United States International University of Africa. Njeri Ngigi has been nominated for awards such as Photo London Emerging Photographer of The Year and has exhibited with Photo Basel and worked with galleries such as AKKA project Dubai and Venice. Women have been, and continue to be the center of most of her projects such as Murky Waters and Mke Mwema. Her environment has always been a source of inspiration for her and by taking images of women, she makes an image of herself and tries to bringing these issues affecting women to the limelight.
Brook Getachew is a lens-based visual artist working with mediated processes and memory reflecting upon personal experience and the subconscious. Brooks’ work engages with ideas of expressionism, emotion and the self indicating process as the work itself whilst taking an experimental, almost impulsive yet controlled, and reserved approach to the work. His practice is grounded in concepts of belief and observation finding ways to collect and incorporate everyday scenes, patterns, and objects into his canvas.
Felicity Hammond received an MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art in London in 2014 and a PhD in Contemporary Art Research from Kingston University in 2021. Alongside solo exhibitions at C/O Berlin, Kunsthal Extra City Antwerp and Contact Gallery Toronto, she has exhibited her work in international group shows at Photographers’ Gallery (2018), Fotomuseum Winterthur (2017), Tate Modern (2016), and FOAM Amsterdam (2016), among others. Her work has been nominated for a number of awards, most recently the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize (longlist,2019). She has been awarded the Lumen Art Prize (2018), FOAM Talent (2016), and the British Journal of Photography International Photography Award (single image winner, 2016). Hammond’s first book, Property, was published in 2019 by Self Publish, Be Happy. She lives and works in London.
Kipya Ki? is supported by the British Council Cultural Exchange programme, which funds cultural organisations, festivals, artists, and creatives between the countries of Sub Saharan Africa and the UK to create art, build networks, collaborate and develop markets and share artists’ work with audiences.