Ugandan fashion label Kkoolo is the focus of a new short documentary

Translating from the East African Lugisu language as ‘crow’, Kkoolo is a Ugandan fashion brand led by designer Buyi Philip.

Buyi and his work are the focus of this short film by two Swedish filmmakers, Elsa Löwdin and Veronica Pålsson, who spent time in Kampala learning about Kkoolo’s distinctive approach. Buyi—who is also a dancer, filmmaker, choreographer, and set designer—founded the label in 2012, with the aim of rediscovering and redefining indigenous culture. After basking in Kkoolo’s eclectic blend of styles, traditions and imaginative cultural reference points, we caught up with Elsa and Veronica to ask them a little more about the film and working with Buyi.

How did you meet Buyi?

We met Buyi through a friend the first time we were in Kampala. We were inspired by his creative mind and how he is constantly trying to incorporate art into everything around him. He truly has a great energy and a playful mind!

What motivated you to make this film?

We find a big lack of variation when it comes to media reportage from East Africa, or Africa as a continent in general. What we faced in Kampala, and the culture we were surrounded by for eight months, is something we’d never seen in media before. It’s very important to spread alternative pictures of Uganda, or Africa more generally. There’s so much more than what is depicted in Western media. Hopefully, this short film can be a step in the right direction.

What were you hoping to achieve in making this film?

We wanted to show off Buyi Philip Kkoolo’s great work, and to give an impression of the vibe in Kampala. Hopefully, we’ll make people curious about Uganda in a way that goes beyond safari tours.

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Thanks to Elsa Löwdin and Veronica Pålsson for sharing their wonderful film with us. To find out more about Kkoolo, you can follow them on Tumblr, or take a look at the Kkoolo website.

See more documentaries on FvF here.

Text and interview: Siobhan Leddy
Images: Elsa Löwdin and Veronica Pålsson