Charity Atukunda was born in Rukungiri, Uganda in 1988. After her family moved to the United States, she spent her formative years seeking out her place as an artist, drawing on visual fine arts, graphic novels and animations for inspiration. She returned to Uganda in 2008 only to experience an unexpected dose of decolonizing, self-deconstruction and an uncomfortable vulnerability that forces her to constantly search herself and through history.
Atukunda’s work is an exploration and uncovering of history in order to contextualize her personal experiences as well as an attempt to escape from the exoticism of what ‘African’ or ‘black woman’ looks like. The results manifest primarily as illustrations or paintings and most recently, in the experimental use of digital tools in her daily interactions to explore her creative capacity, therefore reconciling the need to create with the lack of time to do so.
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 of her own artistic process traces a similar trajectory of deconstruction and self-education.
In 2011, Atukunda received a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial and Fine Arts. She was selected to participate in the Sadolin MabArti street challenge in 2014 and 2016. In 2015 she was a participant in the ‘Outdoor Ideas with Sunoj D’ workshop hosted by 32 Degrees East and Maisha Film Lab. She was selected to exhibit in the Kampala Art Biennale 2016.
Atukunda currently lives in Kampala, Uganda.
Big Men tells the stories of East Africa's unlikely feminists: men in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya who are redefining masculinity and/or fighting for female empowerment.