By Florence Kyohangirwe
Photos by Megan Lee
Through interacting with community members of Kyebando-Kisalosalo, one of the fast-growing pre-urban areas in Kampala, Gisa Brian realized the potential to collaborate with artists and the community members for an important initiative.
In 2013, Gisa founded the Afrika Arts Kollective (AAK) an East African art collaborative based in Kampala which organizes socially innovative projects bringing artists to work together and address social issues. The AAK has over the years identified, nurtured, and linked artists as well as encouraged them to work collectively to address social issues. The AAK hosts events where community and international artists paint murals that represent the pride and stories of the neighborhood.
Gisa believes that art is an important tool to address community concerns. He applauds the artists that have collaborated to create the murals and local leaders that have endorsed the AAK. Through its Glass Works Project-“Ekilawuli” that started in 2017, the AAK is processing waste glass into products like bowls, cups, wine glasses, and plant pots. Not only is this an eco-friendly initiative but also a source of jobs for the impoverished in Kyebando.
The project is a source of livelihood for women and youth who would otherwise be unemployed. The Kollective also offers training opportunities for local workers and artists that have demonstrated interest in improving or perfecting their craft.
In order to impact even more women and youth especially through the COVID-19 pandemic, AAK is seeking support for the Glass Works Project-“Ekilawuli” through crowdfunding and you can support the community art space by donating to this initiative HERE.