Kigali gets first photography centre

The country’s first center for photography officially opened to the public over the weekend, with a group photo exhibition dubbed Agahugu Gato (Little Country).
One of the exhibiting artists talks to guests about his work.
One of the exhibiting artists talks to guests about his work.

The country’s first center for photography officially opened to the public over the weekend, with a group photo exhibition dubbed Agahugu Gato (Little Country).

The Kigali Center For Photography (KCFP) is the brainchild of Rwandan documentary photographer Jacques Nkinzingabo.

The Agahugu Gato photo exhibition was a photographic exploration of the beauty of Rwanda, and brought together the works of ten different photographers, both local and foreign.

In the exhibition hall, the photos were arranged in batches of ten, with no captions and photographer credits, such that one would not tell whether a particular batch of images belonged to one or all ten photographers.

“The idea was to see what Rwanda looks like today –the new image of Rwanda through the lenses of ten photographers put together. We didn’t want to reveal the identity of the photographers, and where or when they took the pictures because we wanted people to pay more attention and understand more, by giving more attention to the works than the photographers,” Nkinzingabo explained.

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Jacques Nkinzingabo (with mic), the host introduces the other exhibiting artists.

However some of the exhibiting photographers were on hand to explain the story behind their photos to exhibition goers.

On display were the works of artists; Jacques Nkinzingabo, the host; Nadege Imbabazi, Jean Luc Habimana, Cyril Ndegeya, Innocent Ishimwe, Alice Kayibanda, Maria Dede (France), Alex Niragira, Shaban Masengesho, Hubert Bisengimana, and Alice Kayibanda.

Nkinzingabo revealed that the centre will be a space where photographers meet other photographers, as well access other materials like books and audio-visuals pertaining to the subject of photography.

Besides photography, the center will also offer video and animation services.

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Exhibition goers immersed in the Agahugu Gato exhibition. / Courtesy photos

With so much space to work with, Nkinzingabo further revealed that next year, the center will also venture into art residency, to facilitate foreign photographers staying in Rwanda seeking to utilize the space and connect with local photographers.

The Kigali Center For Photography is open to the public every day of the week, from 9:00 am. It will offer weekly activities for photographers, and monthly activities for the general public. It will also offer an open studio for interested local photographers.

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