Exposing patriarchy in Kampala exhibition

Saturday May 07 2022
Odur's painting "Ajwang 2, 2022".

Odur's painting "Ajwang 2, 2022". PHOTO | POOL


The two-month long exhibition Where the Wild Things Are at the Afriart Gallery in Kampala critiques patriarchal power structures.

The show, which ends on June 11, features perspectives of East African women through the works of Ugandan emerging artists Charlene Komuntale, Emmie Nume, Mona Taha, Odur, Richard Atugonza, and Switzin Twikirize.

Komuntale has created poetic critiques of dominant, male-centred perspectives on women’s roles and supposedly natural limits of the female body.

Her paintings show women with open cardboard boxes for heads, with the words "Not Fragile" written on them.

"I am going against the narrative that suggests that women are breakable beings,” she said.

Taha explores what it means to be a young, Muslim woman and mother in her community using self-portraiture as a medium. One of her pieces, The Four Chairs, is made of charcoal, coffee wash and graphite on pastel paper and depicts a woman walking past a table with four chairs.


“The piece draws on the idea of women’s role as the sole caretakers in their homes. The idea of the superwoman who does it all, works 9-5, nurses the babies, manages the home, while serving the patriarchal needs is delusional and oppressive to women,’’ she added.