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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory

Ugandan contemporary artist, dancer and researcher, Robert Ssempijja has been selected as the third Cavendish Arts Science Fellow at Girton College.

Ssempijja was selected from over 700 artists who responded to the international open call for his compelling 'regenerative art practice' that moves away from exploitative relationships at every level, making a bridge between the distorted past and the digital present through his creations.

Ssempijja has worked with choreographers, dance companies and festivals across three continents, combining Ugandan traditional dance, breakdance and contemporary dance to develop new aesthetics and art forms.

His work draws on connections at a sensual and sensory level to explore the things that spoken language cannot always explain, and that are too difficult to talk about out loud. He explores the past, present and future in order to re-imagine traditional narratives, and aims to share experiences to take viewers on journeys of self-discovery while confronting decolonial questions about the nature of home and belonging.

Ssempijja uses movement to delve deep into the secrets hidden within our bodies, seeking to access new realms of information through the use of time, space and body. His work looks to reshape rhythms, redefining how we see ourselves, our community and our world.

About his appointment, Robert Ssempijja said: "Coming from a largely informal background, with mostly hands-on and practical experience, this fellowship will provide me with the opportunity to engage with individuals who have a formal and structured approach to their work, as well as those with practical experience. It's truly an honour to be part of the world's leading university, and I'm excited for the rich learning experiences and collaborations that await me there."

We look forward to welcoming Ssempijja to Cambridge and supporting the conversations that emerge from his encounters.

The Cavendish Arts Science Fellowship is delivered as a partnership between Cavendish Arts Science, an initiative of the Cavendish Laboratory, and Girton College, thanks to the vision and support of Una Ryan. The Fellowship is designed to support artists to develop thought-provoking ideas through engagement with physicists and those in other fields, and experiment with new approaches to their practice that are transformative and push boundaries.

For more information please visit:
Robert Ssempijja
Cavendish Arts Science

Robert Ssempijja. Credit: Franke Jacob