Say no to drugs. Education is wealth. Work together. Education can change the world. Those were some of the key messages splashed on walls and other outdoor spaces as local visual artists and art enthusiasts took to an interactive live muraling and painting session at the Kimisagara One Stop Youth Center last week.
Organised by Kurema Kureba, Kwiga, a Rwandan social enterprise, the four-day exercise attracted about 15 visual artists from Kigali, in a collaborative outdoor painting activity. Kurema, Kureba, Kwiga is Kinyarwanda word for “To create, to see, to learn.” It focuses on using street art and art-actions to involve civil society in positive social change that promotes creativity and community through color.
The session which kicked off last Tuesday, run for four days, with the first two days’ activities limited to only practicing artists.
On Thursday and Friday, the activity was opened to members of the public, who took to the paint brush to add colour and messages of hope around the walls of the Kimisagara Youth Center.
Earlier on Saturday evening, renowned Kenyan visual artist Wise Two, led a live painting session at the Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel in Kacyiru.
Together with his Rwandan counterparts, they carried out a range of workshops and activities to help promote the growing form of public art and engage new audiences.
On Monday, June 15, at the Goethe Institute in Kiyovu, the team held a presentation and discussion on the role of street art in East Africa.
According to the founder, Judith Kaine, the group’s core mission is to expand the visual arts sector by driving demand for innovative urban art and prioritizing the development of high quality creative outputs away from conventional art spaces.
“The idea is that it’s open to the public, and you don’t need to have any experience. All that one needs is to be willing to create together, and that’s a part of why mural making is a unique thing, it’s a different way of engaging people to work together for a common cause,” explained Kaine at the close of the event:
“Afterwards when the artists are gone, it’s still here for people who meet it or the community that stays here, and because they were involved from the beginning, it feels like something that belongs to them.”
To date, the Kurema, Kureba, Kwiga team has created 20 murals across the country, in addition to initiating ‘Arts Umuganda,’ creative competitions, and art-based merchandise.
For the first time, the creative team expanded its local partnerships beyond their founding members from Ivuka Arts Kigali, and welcomed artists from a range of additional Kigali based arts institutions.