Three Questions to the Artist: Ssali Yusuf

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Why did you name this painting “Taking a Decision”?

“I chose this title because I wanted to address the participation of women in decision-making. I believe that women now have the capacity to change the world we live in and that they are key actors in the development of our societies. They cannot be left behind anymore. Women act as a bridge between culture and traditions and tomorrow’s reality.”


What is your main source of inspiration?

“I draw my inspiration from the day-to-day life of African women and nature – birds, fish, butterflies, etc. I often depict African women because I believe that they embody the cultural diversity of Africa and are the backbones of our nations. I want to support the emancipation and empowerment of women so that they are considered as human beings who deserve the same respect as men.”


Do you think that art can be used to create cohesion between communities in Uganda and beyond?

“Art, be it abstract or realistic, is a language that speaks to everyone. It is part of our culture and can be used as an educational or therapeutic tool. It is very important for me to spread the joy and pleasure of working in art with others – not only to teach the skills and materials of art, but to help people find and express their own creativity. I have spent a lot of time providing art therapy to HIV/AIDS patients and art classes to orphans and street children in Uganda. I believe that art has the power to bring people from all walks of life together.”