The 11th Laba! Arts Festival

The 11th Laba! Arts Festival


By Denis Nsubuga

Pictures by Roderick Ahimbazwe


The 11th edition of the annual Laba! Arts Festival happened last Saturday. Regular festivalgoers and art lovers turned up at Bukoto Street, Kamwokya to indulge into the beauty of different forms of art.

The arts festival, which is the oldest in Uganda, is a mixed bag of mainly visual, performing, and literary arts.

It is made of exhibitions of paintings, photography, installations, crafts, and Ugandan literature; street and stage performances for poetry, dance, acrobatics, music, and theatre; food, among others. These altogether contribute to the fanfare.

By midday, people had started flocking the venue. Street performances and live painting kept revellers entertained as they chatted away, took pictures and selfies, and strolled up and down the street.

The HeartBeatZone Drum Circle involved folks in interactive musical encounters. Besides a drum/ percussion workshop led by Kampala Music School and Mame N’Diack, the Drums circle became a stop for thrilling fun.

The audience become bigger. Musical performance and dance, which were secondary focuses of the day, livened up the streets.

Spot Lite Crew and poetry projects such as Tantoma and Kitara Nation Poets; and bands like Bantu Clan and Isiah’s Destiny kept the revellers grooving as the evening turned darker.

There was a visible lower turn-up this year, however. Funding was apparently the major challenge; with rumours make the rounds that serious funds stopped at the tenth edition last year. None of the challenges, however, barred folks from enjoying.