Indeed, “It is through art and handicrafts that Rwanda can be assured of permanent creativity...”, but not creativity related to “visual arts” only. Any specific art and crafts of a people more or less encompass all aspects of our daily lives, including the pure visual arts sector.
Economics, politics, education, healthcare, individual and collective daily life and future aspirations, are all conceived and lived based on how we relate to our daily living in physical and socio-cultural environment. And it is through daily practice in art and crafts that this relation to our environment is forged and diffused in all walks of life.
Even the so-called “modern” western and industrial revolution, now spread worldwide, derives its own ethos from the 17th-18th century European nascent bourgeois conception and practice of art and craft, which have been objectified into scientific dogmas.
Our choice now, that badly needs to be enlightened, both for individuals and for collectivities worldwide, is between either fully adhering to the western bourgeois market-based art and crafts ideology and practice, thus mummifying our own respective millenary traditions or, devising our core own, an actualised respective local vision and practice of daily life made out of a careful blend and integration of influences drawn from all over the world.
Reaction to the story, “Know Your History: Nyanza ya Butare: Rwanda’s cultural hub” (The New Times, April 29)