Exhibition honours, promotes peace

Friday April 26 2019


Some of the visitors of the exhibition at the Rwanda Art Museum. PHOTO | JEAN-PIERRE AFADHALI  

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A visual arts exhibition, taking place at the Rwanda Art Museum (former presidential palace) in Kanombe, seeks to raise awareness about the role of art in promoting peace and commemorating the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The exhibitions also highlight the importance of art in educating the public and the world about the country’s journey since 1994.

The art exhibition opened last week and will last during the 100 days of the genocide commemoration to allow visitors to learn more about the country’s tragic history, reconciliation, hope and efforts to prevent a similar tragedy.

Seven artists are showcasing their paintings and sculptures alongside other artworks created by students through the Rwanda National Unity and Reconciliation’s programme and existing artworks from the relatively new museum.

Exhibitors who include upcoming and veteran artists focused on the country’s dark past, peace building, unity and conflict prevention.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Robert Masozera, director-general of the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR) said it is easier to get a message across using arts.

“Artworks are unique in the sense that they can speak to anyone,” said Mr Masozera, adding, “A visitor without any interpreter or guide can easily understand the messages artists wanted to convey.”

The pieces on display under the theme Kwibuka through artworks are mainly paintings and some sculptures.

Maximillien Muhawenimana, a visual artist who is showcasing two art pieces, said he focuses on sculptures and is inspired by the country’s history to create art work that unites the society.

“The art works last forever to preserve memory, for instance after 100years other generations will learn from the current artefacts what happened,” said Mr Muhawenimana.

The exhibition’s organisers hope that local museums will enable visitors from all over the world to understand what Rwanda went through.

“We wanted our visitors to know the History of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” said Mr Masozera.

Adults pay Rwf1,500, students Rwf700, while pupils Rwf500 to visit the Rwanda Arts Museum. If they are in a group they get a 25 per cent discount.

This is to encourage as many people as possible to visit. Besides this temporary exhibition, there are other artefacts on display.

The museum managers are encouraging the community surrounding the art museum to visit the cultural institution and learn more about the former presidential palace and art on display.