Charity Atukunda

Charity Atukunda is a visual artist with a focus in painting, illustration, digital art, and sculpture. Atukunda’s work is an exploration and uncovering of history to contextualize her personal experiences as well as an attempt to escape from the exoticism of what ‘African’ or ‘black woman’ looks like. Atukunda’s style is marked by a conscious use of pattern, symbolism and mythical allusions. In the process of creating she enters a deep research process to avoid taking any ‘historical facts’ for granted. Her excavation of history and her artistic process trace a similar trajectory of deconstruction and self-education.

In her KLA ART ‘21 project, The Transients, Charity Atukunda draws inspiration from city vendors, whose resolve and resourcefulness in the face of ever-changing rules is the only way they can make a living in this city. In a performance of commerce as second skin, set to a soundtrack of the bustling sounds of downtown Kampala markets, Charity draws our attention to how vendors physically carry the weight of their survival as they circumvent expensive rent, and over-policing. As she puts it, ‘you wear your hustle so it can’t be taken away’.

During her 2019 residency at 32° East, Atukunda explored the identity of objects in Ugandan homes. She posed the following questions: What history do they hold? How is the object in your mother’s sitting room chosen? She explored these topics with animation and live objects with 2-D animation.