In mid-June, Goethe-Institut Kigali posted a call for application targeting artists, who are based in Rwanda for digital mini-productions of up to 1 minute.
They urged artists in all disciplines to be creative, digital as well as stay safe as they brainstormed their pitches for application.
Each of the ten successful artists would receive a production grant amounting to Rwf200.000. This would facilitate them in exploring new spontaneous ways of producing and sharing art and stories in simple yet inspiring ways.
However, the grant could only finance new projects that will be created purposely for this call. Artists with on-going projects could not benefit from the boosting shoots grants.
In order to apply for the grant, artists were supposed to provide a short artistic bio of themselves, and a brief description of the project they plan to create with the grant. They were also required to explain changes expected for having their artistic productions go digital.
In order to abide by the government’s Covid-19 containment measures, all applications were conducted online using a link to a Google document’s application form.
Goethe Institut had identified a three-person jury composed of Rwandans artists, who have succeeded in their own fields. They included Louise Umutoni, who’s a publisher, communication expert and writer.
She founded Huza Press and is currently working on a book about the role of women in National Liberation Movements. Her book will cover Rwanda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.
The second was Eric 1key an artist who considers himself as a free mind with many hats. He’s a multi-lingual hip-hop poet, spoken word artist, blogger and actor. Eric has been creating online audio, video and visual experimentations for many years.
The jury also had Louise Mutabazi, a writer and artist. She experiments diverse ways of marrying visual arts and sound with literature. Louise is also a production and administration manager for performing arts.
According to the grants management team, they received more than eighty projects by the 9th of July, 2020 which was the official application deadline. They reported on social media that it was very hard for the jury to select ten projects only as creativity, audacity and artistic quality was quite impressive in almost all submissions.
The following are the successful ten grantees; Calene Ingabire, Cheryl Isheja, Ganza Moise, Irandukunda Sebastian, Jean Luc Habimana, Jenniffer Mudahogora, Jules Cesar, Manzi Mbaya, Remmy Ryumugabe and Rebecca Uwamahoro Mucyo.
Ryumugabe, one of the ten grantees had this say about the good news. “It always feels good when people understand your project or just find it interesting and want to support you so that you may bring it to life”
“I want to thank the jury who found my project worthy the grant and Goethe-Institut Kigali for this opportunity,” he said.
His project will combine dance, music, filmmaking, and video art elements accompanied by a poetic voice-over to explore the contrast between the abstract part and the tangible part of someone’s childhood memories when she’s an adult.
Ryumugabe said that he is trying to adjust himself and his artistry to the current situation.
Uwamahoro, another successful applicant could not hide her excitement after receiving the good news: “I am very excited to be among the ten grantees. I didn’t know they would be interested in my project because I know there are so many talented artists in Rwanda with great story ideas. Seeing my name among the ten makes me one of the best and it feels really good” she said with a broad smile on her face.
Her project is called, Forbidden Love. “It’s a story about a girl who fell in love with another girl but is finding it hard to tell her. She ends up expressing her love through a poem. In the end, we learn that their relationship is mutual but each one of them is afraid of taking the risk based on the African cultural norms. It’s pretty much about poetry” she explained.
Ganza, another successful applicant will be working on a project called, Limbo or “amazinda yazindutse”. “It’s basically a short experimental film that explores visually how it feels to be depressed, to be in a dark mental space where memories are turned against you,” he said.
Speaking about Covid-19 pandemic, Ganze said: “It’s very challenging to find ways to earn money from your art or any other side jobs during a pandemic but again, it has always been like this for artists living in our society.”
The produced artworks, expected to be ready by the end of August, will be published on Goethe-Institut Kigali’s social media platforms. Short biographies of the ten successful artists will also be published online.