Art and Gender: Imag[in]ing the new woman in contemporary Ugandan art, Book 1
Tumusiime, Amanda Evassy
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis is based on the belief that representations of women in contemporary Ugandan art serve cultural and political purposes. The premise is that the autonomous woman (seen as the new woman in this study), emerging in Uganda in the mid-1980s, agitated for the social, economic and political emancipation of women in Uganda. It has been demonstrated that the patriarchy attempted to subordinate, confine and regulate this new woman. The press, drama, music and film became powerful tools to force her into silence. This study posits that contemporary Ugandan art was part of this cultural discourse. Adopting a feminist art historical stance, it examines and assesses the gendered content of Uganda’s contemporary art masked as aesthetics. On the one hand, the study exposes the view that some men artists in Uganda use their works to construct men’s power and superiority as the necessary ingredients of gender difference. I demonstrate that some artists have engaged themes through which they have constructed women as being materialistic, gold-diggers, erotic and domesticated. I argue that this has been a strategy to tame Uganda’s new woman. On the other hand, the thesis attempts to show that some women artists have used visual discourse to challenge their marginalisation and to reclaim their ‘agency’ while revising some negative stereotypes about the new woman. This study makes an interdisciplinary contribution to Uganda’s art history, cultural studies and gender studies.