A group of German students based in Mannheim, Germany who had a one-year stint in several African countries, including Rwanda, has decided to try to change the negative perception Western countries have about Africa.
As such, they are organising an art exhibition that will feature five cities, including Kigali. The exhibition will seek to paint Africa in a way that previous western media reports have not.
The art exhibition dubbed: “Sichtwechsel: Stadtbilder aus Afrika” which translates to “Missing images: Cityscapes from Africa” will be presented in Mannheim, Germany, in September.
Following their time on the continent volunteering, the students found out that there were many positive things about Rwanda and the continent in general that were unknown to them previously.
Sören Götz, a member of the group, said they hope the exhibition will open the eyes of the people in the West to see Africa as it really is and not what has been portrayed by sections of the media.
“On the basis of predominantly one-sided and stereotyped media reports, many Germans do not know anything about the impressive metropolises the African continent has. With the exhibition, we want to change that perception as we show five well-chosen cities,” Götz said.
The students are calling upon local artists to send in their work to be featured in the exhibition.Those interested can submit their pictures through www.missing-images.de.
“We are requesting the inhabitants to send us their cityscapes which will be presented in the exhibition. Our idea is to present the cities from the perspective of their inhabitants,” Götz said.
Local artists have welcomed the development terming it as another chance for Africa to tell their own story and undo the previous negative stories about the continent.
Donatha Umurungi, a photographer based in Kigali, said the opportunity will benefit local photographers who cannot afford to organise exhibitions on their own.
“This is a chance for local photographers to tell Rwanda’s story the way it is, putting into consideration our difficult past,” Umurungi said.