Sarah Nakiito is a migration scholar with a bachelor's degree in IMER (International Migration & Ethnic Relations) from Malmö University (2008) with a focus on ethnicity and identity and a published thesis that focused on colonialism, pan-Africanism and the negritude movement. After a professional life of about 15 years working with people in crisis in various ways both at local and state level and field studies at the East African community headquarters in Arusha, TZ and the Rwanda tribunal (on legal guilt and repatriation) and UNHCR in Kenya, she works today as a visual artist with mainly textiles and performance.
Her artistic practice navigates through multiple references and fields of knowledge on how a brown body can navigate through it all. Sarah came to Sweden as an unaccompanied refugee child and as 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— all this haunts her works and collaborations. These themes are fundamental for Sarah´s creation as a state of being.
Sarah Nakiito’s practice has evolved in recent years into exploring historical textile traditions, dyeing and printing techniques that span over cultures and group identities, the possibilities of sculpture and installation and decolonial practices for performance art.
The fabrication of the works often involve 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 intuitive, empathetic and mostly thematic with a focus on the human condition and collboration.
Influenced by her diasporic experiences bound by colonial ties in growing up in a white majority society (which is violent in it´s self) has had severe effects on the artist´s queer black woman's body´s mental health.