Of Houses and Death
Since 2011 Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa has been researching the cultural legacies of British colonialism in East Africa. Of particular interest to her have been the “mnemonic technologies” that were introduced to the region during the colonial period (e.g. the museum, the book, the governmental archive), as well as unsuccessful/unrealized utopian projects of European Settlement in “empty” East Africa: the “Freeland Colony” (founded by Austrian Theodor Hertzka and Welshman Alfred Wallace in the 1890s), and the British proposal, in 1903, to create the State of Israel on the banks of Lake Victoria. Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa continued this research in Büchsenhausen, as well as working on a fictive account – based on a true story – of what happened to 7,000 Polish and Ukrainians during the Second World War. Deported in 1941 from a Siberian gulag, via Teheran and colonial India, to what was then the Protectorate of Uganda, they lived there without any contact with the indigenous population until 1952.
Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa *1976 in Glasgow, studied English Literature at Cambridge University, Cambridge (1995-98) and Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (2006-08). Prior to joining the UdK Graduiertenschule, Berlin (2012-14), she was a participant in the LUX Associate Artists Program/UK (2009), and a Fine Art Researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie (2012). Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa works in a wide range of media, including installation, sound, video, photography, printmaking and drawing. She has also recently begun writing. Her work has been shown in exhibitions and screenings, in among others Kampala/UG; Mainz; Vienna; Venice; Paris; London; Seville and Innsbruck. Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa received the grant of the City of Innsbruck in the context of the Inter-national Fellowship Program for Art and Theory at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen 2014-15.