My name is Koloto Siraji, a Ugandan contemporary artist and researcher whose work traverses film, installation and performance. My method explores the Bagisu philosophies of the dance art. Embracing and initiating the Bagisu theories of art into modern practices. This triggers my intention to revisit the old wisdom of dance. I formulate my technique between the intersection of deconstructing Bagisu traditional dances and Urban/street dance styles to rearrange them into an emotional set of movements that spark out a contemporary identity. My approach deeply enhances the Bagisu art and rituals of movement.
I work between the error of post-colonialism and decolonization. Investigating the body as a medium to give new narratives. I’m curious about how I can use the body in space to transfer information and dance the agony in humanity. My art is most grounded in the lives of my communities and my ancestry. I’m most interested in making people feel, think and question; in relation to gender, politics, Environment and climate change, Human rights, Economic and cultural issues. My work offers no easy answers but seeks to provoke questioning in the audience; triggering them to think and seek individual perception and responsibility of their actions.
Originating from the Bagisu tribe, the bagisu traditional dance gatherings and rituals have been a part of my conscious artistry. Since 2004, I have been working closely with traditional dance elders as a student, teacher and community choreographer within the traditional dance gatherings and rituals. I have also ventured into urban dance genres like breakdance, popping, krump, Hiphop dance and afro fusion.
This versatility of dance genres got my body contaminated and I started developing the desire to just move without subscribing to a particular dance genre or imposing any rules on the way my body moves. I instead redefined myself as a movement alchemy. I however keep myself grounded in exploring philosophies and theories from the Bagisu histories of art to shape my contemporary identity.
I have extended my artistic narratives, knowledge and skills locally and internationally through performances, exhibitions and workshops. I have worked/work with local & international communities; Galleries, festivals, governmental and non-governmental organizations, embassies and corporate communities, universities and colleges , Artistic and community centres, prisons & rehabilitation facilities, . I present performances and exhibitions that address pressing social issues and underrepresented narratives. Crossing from gender politics, climate change, human rights, social inclusion and access to knowledge. I also facilitate advanced and open level dance & movement workshops guided by the Bagisu philosophies and theories of dance and rituals of movement. Within these workshops, I develop interactive dialogues, team-building and self-awareness, individual & collective growth. I’m conscious in tailor-making body consciousness and the unconscious mind to let out the humanity in each one of us. My work has been featured around the world crossing from Uganda, Colombia, Tanzania, Germany, Rwanda, Malaysia, Kenya and Netherlands.
ENSIBUKO ARTS FOUNDATION (EAF)
I have a firm belief that dance and other forms of artistic expression can be utilized to communicate with, empower, rehabilitate, and heal communities and individuals. In this, I have applied Many of my skills and services to promote and develop the organisation that I founded in 2010 “Ensibuko Arts Foundation [EAF]”, a non profit cultural organisation working to develop youths and empower communities through creative arts.
KOLOTO SIRAJI IN MEDIA
KOLOTO SIRAJI FEATURED BY PRINCE CLAUS FUND NETHERLANDS FOLLOWING HIS AWARD FOR CULTURAL AND ARTISTIC RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE
GERMAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE PACT ZOLLVEREIN TALKS ABOUT KOLOTO SIRAJI
KOLOTO SIRAJI FEATURED IN SOFT POWER NEWS UGANDA
AMBASADOR BOVEN KARIN OF THE NETHERLANDS TO UGANDA TALKS ABOUT KOLOTO SIRAJI
MUSIC IN AFRICA MAGAZINE GIVES A MENTION TO KOLOTO SIRAJI
KOLOTO SIRAJI AND HIS SOCIAL DANCE MOVEMENT DOCUMENTED
KOLOTO SIRAJI FEATURED IN A SHORT DOCUMENTARY FILM BY UGANDA BROADCASTING SERVICES (UBC TV) AS PART OF THE 2017 SOCIAL IMPACT STORIES FEATURING LIGHT UP UGANDA. NARRATING HIS STORY WITH YOUTH PROGRAMS
ART NEWS AFRICA WRITES ABOUT KOLOTO SIRAJI