Sarah Nakiito (born in Mengo, Uganda in 1983) is a visual and performance artist living and working in Malmö, Sweden. Her artistic practice brings together various characters from yesterday and today, who manifest as shapes, traces and memories into her multi-layered works. Nakiito navigates through multiple references and fields of knowledge, from textile and fashion history to the exploration of the art of performance and on how a brown body can navigate through it all. Sarah Nakiito who came to the west as a refugee and a consequence of colonialism and soon after, an orphan, her life and works share experiences of forced migration, blackness, feminism, diaspora, queer identity and colonial wounds— who haunt her prints, installations and performances. All these themes are fundamental for Sarah Nakiito's creation as a state of being.
Most specifically known for her fashion designs and the elaborate African wax prints, Sarah Nakiito’s practice has evolved in recent years into exploring with historical textile traditions, dyeing and printing techniques that span over cultures and group identities, the possibilities of sculpture and installation and decolonial methods for performance art. However, the textiles that she produces should not be taken for granted, as they always bear the potential of shifting colour where some colours fade and others emerge over time. It´s all very intricate, playful and quite mysterious. The shifting of colours and shapes is as much alive and durable as its volatile. They could be read as happenings — disguised as prints. The fabrication of these objects often involves “simple”, craft-based or handmade techniques that are often associated with the domestic work of women and with subaltern knowledge, such as sewing or dying. The materials are often recycled and natural (cotton, wool, leather, wood and silk) and add another layer of stories to the objects, that of the circulation of resources, sustainability and knowledge often acquired through the violent exploitation of humans and nature.
Sarah Nakiito's work is intuitively, empathetically and mostly thematically with a focus on concepts such as mental illness, escapism and play. But also pain, blackness and trauma are, for the artist, interesting areas to further explore.
Influenced by her diasporic experiences bound by colonial ties cosplaying in a queer black woman's body colours the choices of her collaborative partners and means.