Uwazi Zamani is a celebrated Black, same gender loving, multimedia performance artist and arts activist from Houston, TX. He holds a BFA in Dance and B.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. He has performed and worked under the artistic direction of choreographers Anne-Rene Petrarca, Dorrell Martin, Charles O. Anderson, Gesel Mason, Stephanie Martinez, and Iquail Shaheed. He is a member of Urban Souls Dance Company under the direction of Harrison Guy. He has been an artist in residence with DANCE IQUAIL!, DanceSource Houston, and The Union Arts Festival. Uwazi has also served as a research consultant to Tommie Waheed Evans.
Connecting his work to Black queer performance artists like Essex Hemphill and Assotto Saint, Uwazi uses dance, slam poetry, text,and visual art to unravel the complexities of being Black and same gender loving. His choreographic work seeks to create social and transformative works where Black voices and oral histories are amplified and actualized as material truth.
As a result of being moved by the writings and performance art of the Black Gay Cultural Renaissance of the 80s and 90s, during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, he has archived digital and physical copies of these writings in an effort to educate the public on the histories of Black sexual and gender variant communities.
Uwazi’s current research and embodied practice is exploring Ballroom culture as a training ground for survival and Vogue Fem as a vehicle of intergenerational transfer amongst Black queer and trans youth.
Uwazi has been the recipient of several creative arts grants and awards; Let Creativity Happen! Grant from Houston Arts Alliance, Social Impact Award from Houston Community College, and the Adobe Creative Genius Grant.
Uwazi’s primary research interests include Black Queer Sociocultural Production, Black Male Studies, and Dance Education.