The Ambassador's Speech at the Launch of the Free[ak] Show

Nov 29, 2016

I am surprised. You really came to this event? I thought my guests and friends were all serious people who would never follow an invitation to a FREE-AK Show. But now I seem to be surrounded by freaks! Well, I confess to understand that you became curious. The same thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago when I was invited to this FREE-AK Show which was shown at the home of Issa Ouattara and his wife. And I was fascinated, what in my view is one major appeal art should have on us, surprise us.
Artists surprise us. Dealing with art as the salt in the soup we call life essentially is experiencing how someone else is perceiving this life in all its forms and facets, and, scarily, how much more this other person – the artist - is possibly perceiving than I do, how much more meaning he can give to a situation, and like through a microscope I suddenly look at what until now I have overlooked. Surprise! There is so much more to discover in life.
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight you are going to experience a meta-surprise because it is not only one artist or one form of art you are going to encounter but there are not less than five different artists – a sculptor, a performance artist, a street artist, a poetess and an eco warrior – ganging up to present us one unique show, the FREE-AK Show! FREE-AK standing for free equal edgy art kombo. I have never experienced anything alike and dare say the outcome might be open even for our artists except for one result, we will all freak out tonight.
Who will make us freak out? There are:
Jonas Gerberding aka (also know as) L.I.E.S. (German for read; stands for “Life Is Extremly Strange”) – Street Artist; Rayka Kobiella – Performance Artist; Reagan Kandole - Eco Artist; Issa Ouattara – Sculptor; Masaani – Poetess.
And how did it come about? There is a longstanding friendship between my colleague Ulrike Lienau and the German art couple Jonas and Rayka who once upon a time, most of us were not yet born then, met in New York, and when Ulrike was posted to Uganda she made them come to Kampala. That was not too difficult because Rayka had been to Uganda before, eleven years ago, and ever since she wanted to come back. Our embassy quickly smelled her advantage and made Jonas design our entry signpost at our National Day on October 3rd. That is where Jonas and Rayka met Robinah Nansubuga, the curator of our exhibition on Federalism on that day. Inevitably, it sparked between them, and they staged this event in record time.
It is my privilege to convey my, to convey our thanks: To our five artists Jonas, Rayka, Reagan, Issa and Masaani; to Ulrike for bringing Jonas and Rayka to us; and to Robinah and her colleague for bringing everybody together and working day and night to realize this event.
Thank you, and have fun!

© German Embassy Kampala

Full Speech

A sculpture in the making