The collective proposes an oral history project involving twelve Rwandan artists who have been active since the 1960s and instrumental in shaping the visual culture of the nation. The project will take an associative and unchronological approach. Catalogue raisonnés, interviews, first-hand accounts, testimonials by former colleagues and students along with critical essays will provide the social backgrounds and historical circumstances in which their work emerged and will illuminate the enduring regional challenges faced by that generation of artists. Eschewing a single-story narrative, the aim is to draw a collective portrait of artistic witnesses of the time before the Second World War, the independence era, the disillusionment in the wake of post-independence and culminating in the genocide against the Tutsi, the aftermath of which all of these artists have chronicled.
Renée Akitelek Mboya is a writer, curator and filmmaker. She is a collaborative editor with the Wali Chafu Collective.