Joseph Tebandeke

Joseph Tebandeke's work delves deep into his Ugandan heritage, its traditions, languages and tribes, with a distinct focus on resurrecting the philosophical way in which his ancestors documented generational history. Joseph adopts this uniting philosophical approach in an attempt to help fellow Ugandans and beyond gain a better understanding and appreciation for Ugandan culture.

Josephs project, THE FORGOTTEN ONES, highlights the significance of dance within the context of Ugandan culture and explores possible root causes for the privation of younger generations in the Ugandan dance scene today.

The role of dance in African culture cannot be understated. Dance in Africa is a way of life. It brings people together in celebration, sparking joy, creativity and unity. With a longstanding place within African history, it is at the core of the country’s cultural identity. In Africa, dance does not serve the role of entertainment but rather tells a story. Dance is used to narrate history, transfer emotions, celebrate rites of passage, and unite communities. Traditional African dance is a fundamental component of the country’s social legacy, giving an imperative articulation of the rich philosophy of the continent, and the living memory of its social riches and its development throughout the different generations. African dance is a cultural trinket that not only Ugandan communities but African communities as a whole should be immensely proud of.

Despite its significance, it seems that the preservation of traditional dance in Africa is without priority. Josephs project questions the lack of qualified dance schools (teaching both traditional and western dances) and the impact it is having on the future of dance in Uganda and Africa wide. Without a proper foundation in technique and education, dancers are left, more often than not, discouraged and lost, failing to achieve their dreams of a professional career in dance. For Joseph, it is crucial that Africa’s younger generations receive the proper education needed to pursue such endeavours and to keep their dance heritage alive. How can we build a future if we destroy the past?

This projects research will, in turn, help to determine the cultural and anthropological weight that dance holds within the context of African culture.  

As a disabled artist, dance for Joseph isn’t just movement, but rather a poetic expression that holds strong ones historical background. His performative work connects deeply to his ancestors and his inherited body archive.

Through this project he wishes to highlight and celebrate the uniqueness of each body and its archive. With individual expression and the beauty of spiritual essence stemming from personal heritage and culture at the forefront of this project, he believes, now more than ever, action must be taken to bring awareness to the preservation of his country’s dance legacy.

For Joseph, this project, is also an invitation for an inquest into how other bodies, able and differently disabled, experience movement and relate to different spaces. With his unique body archive he has the desire to emphasise the criticalness in embracing differences, be it gender, race, class, age or orientation.

THE FORGOTTEN ONES shall call attention to the appreciation of inherited ancestral body archives and their alignment with community and belonging concerning shared cultural values, interpersonal relations and lived experiences.

Bio: Joseph Tebandeke is an emerging contemporary dance artist from Uganda. With an interest in physical intervention in common spaces, Joseph explores different bodies, daily objects and space with an emphasis on the the intersection where the concept of being able or disable meet.

The following are links presenting local physical expressions that comes genetically because of our roots celebrations:
Finding uniqueness of everyone. Shifting perspective (open research) at Vienna in Dschungel theater
photo by Rainer Berson(A)

Sharing roots experience at Moving into Dance
At South Africa (Research three) at South Africa
photo by Lesego Dihemo

Shifting perspective (open research two)
at Vienna in Dschungel theater
photo by Rainer Berson(A)

Shifting perspective (research three)
At South Africa 
photo by Lesego Dihemo 

Moving Margins Chapter II
moving arti|facts from the margins of dance archives
into accessible scores and formats

- STEPPING OUT, funded by the Federal Government
Commissioner for Culture and Media with
in the
framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR.
Assistance Program for Dance.