Martin Kharumwa: Making images for an African audience

Ugandan photographer Martin Kharumwa constructs images that appeal to different cultural contexts.

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Self-taught Ugandan photographer, Martin Kharumwa is based between Kigali and Kampala. When he isn’t working on editorial and fashion shoots, he “makes” photographs, a practice that he says brings the ideas in his head to life. In this video interview, Kharumwa introduces us to his world of conceptual image making.

Living between countries shaped Kharumwa’s ability to adapt to different cultures and settings. This adaptability has laid the foundation that allows him to move between visual language styles as he shoots in different countries.

The photographer believes that how he captures images is determined by his location. He points out that “how people react to imagery and how they respond to being photographed or how they want to be seen” is determined by their different cultural contexts.

Kharumwa admits that there are a lot of opportunities to be a documentary photographer in East Africa, but he prefers refining his conceptual “maker” approach to his photography.

Kharumwa also founded Plus Two Five, a much-needed digital platform showcasing the work of professional photographers across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The site gives international clients access to local talent and helps photographers showcase their work and secure commissioned projects.