By Ogova Ondego
Published May 7, 2012
Rwesero Arts Museum in Nyanza, Rwanda, launches two big and two smaller shows on May 18, 2012 to mark the International Museum Day 2012. as her contribution which make together an international arts exhibition on a scale she never had on display until now.
Running May 18-September 9, 2012, the exhibition features works of various African artists, including South African photographer Pieter Hugo, Rwandan sculptor Jean-Baptiste Sebukangaga, Dutch photographer Andrea Stultiens and Rwandan artist Collin Sekajugo.
Johannesburg-born Pieter Hugo is expected to participate with his impressive project, Rwanda 2004: Vestiges of a genocide. Hugo always focuses on contemporary Africa and his photographs make the world sharing in the weak and rich aspects of the African continent. Ten years after the Rwandan genocide, Hugo came to Rwanda to do research after all kind of pregnant sites during those horrifying 100 days and after, like former roadblocks, remnants of mass graves and memorial sites. Many of these sites do not exist anymore. Hugo’s project keeps these sites alive like symbolical Stations of the Cross.
Next to Hugo’s exhibition there has been made a selection out of the Rwesero Collection of art works directly dealing with genocide. These works by Rwandese artists will be completed by generous loans from Butare based sculptor Jean-Baptiste Sebukangaga.
In contrast with Hugo’s solemn photoworks is The Kaddu Wasswa Archive by Dutch photographer Andrea Stultiens who, in most of her projects, focuses on specific social groups and penetrates into their social surroundings. The results of her explorations give a good insight in how she uses photography as a medium of story-telling.
In the last decade Stultiens developed a special relationship with Uganda where she met Kaddu Wasswa in 2008. This ordinary Ugandan has documented his whole life by conserving photographs and all kinds of documents as vivid proofs of all kind of social waves. His archive does not only show him in a range of professions, but also as a family and community man. It mirrors Uganda during colonial times and the regimes of dictators like Amin and Obote. The exhibtion will stress on topics like struggle against HIV and deforestation, that for peace, education and health care. These are not typical Ugandese topics, for also many Rwandese visitors will recognise these topics.
On his part, Masaka(Uganda)-born Rwandan Sekajugo has been invited as a curator. Sekajugo is not only the founder of Ivuka Arts in Kigali and Kampala, but he is also a stimulating force of community art in Rwanda and Uganda. With all his initiatives he makes true his motto, ‘how art can change lives’. In Rwesero he is set to show the results of his work during workshops with international sculptors in his artist residency annex sculpture park, Weaverbird, in Masaka, Uganda. These Art & Community projects shall also be displayed.
The International Museum Day, marked annually since 1977, is held worldwide sometime around May 18. From America and Oceania to Europe, Asia and Africa, International Museum Day aims to increase public awareness of the role of museums in developing society.
The theme for 2012 is ‘Museums in a Changing World. New challenges, New inspirations’. This is born out of the realisation that museums are faced with interpreting, and existing in, a field that is becoming increasingly fluid. Each institution may face a unique set of goals, interests and audiences.
Rwesero Arts Museum is marking the International Museum Day for the first time. Hers will be an international arts exhibition on an unprecedented scale.