THE MASK MAKER (APPRAISING), a sculpture and video project by artist Marisa Morán Jahn with #Ugandan artists Alim Karmali, Darlyne Komukawa, Bwayo Moses, Stephene Etende, Gloria Wavamunno, and others.
This excerpt is part of a larger body of work, Video Slink Uganda, a project that involves slipping (“slinking”) films by Ugandan and diasporan artists onto pirated bootleg DVDs so that they play as previews to the main feature film. Pirated bootlegs comprise the main form of information for most Ugandans — more than radio, TV, and newspapers combined. But, as the main form of information, most Ugandans mainly see only imported commercial flicks — not works created by artists/filmmakers from their own country. While many Ugandans thus do not see themselves represented on the screen, so too many in the US and the West do not know what Uganda “looks” like. “Video Slink Uganda” seeks to fill this void by presenting a strong visual imaginary forged by Jahn and Kampala-based artists, filmmakers, and designers.
In these photographs, video, and performances, the mirrored masks stand in for a confrontation with one’s self, one’s creation, loss, death, the spectres of colonialism, and the Other. During a moment of racial and geopolitical unrest, “Video Slink Uganda” provides new ways to see ourselves reflected in each other.