Over 30 scholars including both students and faculty from Kyambogo University (KYU) have welcomed the Artistic Representations Otherwise publishing workshop that ran from May 6 – 24, 2019 at Noma II house in the department.

Artistic Representations Otherwise is a collaborative publishing workshop organized by Kyambogo University, MacEwan University Canada (Research Services) and Academics without Borders to provide support and training in research and publishing. The workshop was facilitated by Prof. Felix Kioli from South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) Kenya, Prof. Paul Ugor from Illinois State University, USA, Dr. Leslie Obol from McEwan University, Edmonton, Canada, and Dr. Emmanuel Mutungi from Kyambogo University.

The aim of the workshop was to support participants to publish their artistic works in international journals with an emphasis on Indigenous perspectives and creative approaches. Artistic Representations Otherwise is characterized by talking circles, visual methods “ice-breakers” and other “energizers”, and creative presentations by both the facilitators and the participants. Using a participatory approach this workshop emphasizes gender diversity and diversity at large by encouraging participants to express their perspective in a welcoming space.

Participants of the workshop pose for a group photo with the DVC (AA) during her visit to the workshop

Different participants welcomed the training as a timely intervention especially when Kyambogo University is emphasizing research. Eddie Butindo-Mbaalya, a retired Kyambogo lecturer, a senior researcher and a participant at the workshop says these publishing workshops are so enriching, and a step in the right direction which must function at the University because it has generated passion among participants that was lacking in the past. “In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself,” he quotes Franz Fanon.

Another participant Aturinda Joshua, a year II MAID Masters student says these publishing workshops are a great opportunity to academicians because it has brought together different intellectuals to share new teaching methods including the “talking circle.” On the other hand, Arinaitwe Mariam, a final year Masters Student in Vocational Pedagogy says the workshop will assist her in knowledge building to perfect her final research project because the experience has opened her mind in artistic research methods including drawing symbols that describe an event and its meaning. According to Kirabo Elizabeth, a first-year Student pursuing a Master’s Degree in Art and Industrial Design, “The new method of research approach has come at a right time, when first years are winding up with proposal writing. So as the workshop goes on, I will gain more knowledge since I am interacting with the right people at the workshop,” she said.

The workshop which started on 6th May was officially opened on 13th May by the Dean of the Faculty of Vocational Studies Prof. Bosco Bua. Prof. Bua advised the participants to carry out research to solve a number of problems and publish as a way of sharing information among learners.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Prof. Maria Gorreti Musoke visited the training. She thanked the department for actively supporting the University’s strategic objectives. She was happy that in her one year of service at Kyambogo she has attended three departmental activities showing how active the department is. The DVC (AA) thanked the head of the department Dr. Emmanuel Mutungi for his visionary leadership. She further informed participants to take advantage of the research funds the university has put in place to carry out research and publish.

Dr. Leslie Obol, a lecturer at MacEwan, University Canada and a facilitator at this workshop encouraged the Kyambogo researchers to emphasize their own cultures and unique art practices and pedagogies, rather than allowing the western culture to dominant their approaches to research. This is in line with the workshop research question: “How shall we register artistic research at work in Uganda, in a global academy that still privileges Western epistemological tradition?”

Prof. Felix Ngunzo Kioli, a facilitator and Director in charge of post Graduate Studies at the University of South Eastern Kenya (SEKU) advised the participants to always do more reading to get proper findings in their research. He also advised the Master’s students to always connect the background of the problem to the end of the research as a way of linking the literature to have complete and meaningful research.

Dr. Emmanuel Mutungi, head of the Department of Art and Industrial Design, Kyambogo University and coordinator of the workshop said he anticipates a minimum of 10 articles being published from participant submissions. He informed the participants that there is a need for faculty members to publish especially with their students not only to encourage students but also to develop their capacities as scholars.

Dr. Mutungi concluded thanking the collaborators and encouraging participants to have a full-time attendance to ensure the experience is reflecting in their current research.