Artists in rare joint exhibition

Thursday December 5 2019

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Chris Schwagga’s three-piece collection quite entitled Refuge as part of FAVT exhibition at Kigali's Kandt Museum. PHOTO |  ANDREW. I KAZIBWE 

ANDREW I KAZIBWE
By ANDREW I KAZIBWE
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Rarely do audiences get a taste of joint art exhibitions. Future Africa Visions in Time (FAVT) exhibition is breaking new ground by attracting artists from diverse backgrounds.

For a month since November, the exhibition organised through a partnership between Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth, the Goethe-Institute Kigali and the Kandt House Museum, artists from across Africa will have a platform to showcase their work.

The exhibition, which has been held in Brazil, Cuba, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Burkina Faso and Uganda constitutes of wild, contemplative collaborations between international artists and resident researchers.

Through intensive conversations, artworks and conceptual positions were developed that are reflective and engaging with a general theme: Future Africa Visions in Time.

For the Kigali edition, “healing and remembering and optimising” theme has been selected to serve Rwanda’s unique history and determination.

This is in line with placing focus on rising of self-awareness on the past, revisiting the past, to perfect the present individuals, as well as getting ready for an enhanced future.

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The exhibition will also feature new works by Rwandan outstanding artists Crista Uwase, Cedric Mizero and Burundian Chris Schwagga.

The exhibition serves to explore visions for Africans including those in diaspora, addressing gaps such as future concepts developed in times of disruption and uncertainty, how alternative lifestyles, social mobility or feelings of identity and belonging shape the challenges and visions of the future today.

Reflective of how the past sounds in the future, the possibility of imagining the future in present day troubled times, and how futures present and challenge sound forms, the exhibition holds a set dubbed room installation, a project by Sywia Kyambi, a multimedia artist of Kenyan and German origin.

This installation assembled out of cups on saucers focuses on gender roles and sound of history, with women as a lead. Capturing voices of women living in Rwanda’s urban middle class, this strikes a debate into whether the female voice has, or is satisfactorily found its right footing among the modern day era.

Uganda’s Moses Serubiri’s framed photograph essay dubbed ‘A Black Man Reclining a Place Garden,’ is a reflection upon the entwined union between today’s garden architecture, the European court architecture and colonialism.

Though in absence of persons, the artist delves more to spark a debate around memories, while Zambia’s Lilian Magodi’s collection dubbed “Virgin Mary” is figurative drawings and collage.

The artist seeks to emphasise the fact that women, from history haven’t well been recognised for their crucial roles served, but rather for the wrong reasons.

She seeks to give women a rightful rating among society.

Crista Uwase, who mainly does collage art, tackles a quite unique theme of Trauma, through her mixed media piece dubbed the “battles within.”

With trauma a far deeper mental health issue affecting society, not many are aware of its reality, especially among African society.

Her pieces crafted out of paper, glue and coloured threads on canvas quite address how healing from trauma begins with one facing their past, “It’s not easy addressing this theme, since healing is rather an individual road than collective,” she said.