Three months ago, the Kigali Centre For Photography (KCFP) opened its doors to the public. Located in Kacyiru behind the American Embassy, the centre is the brainchild of Rwandan freelance photographer Jacques Nkinzingabo. The December 10 opening also doubled as a joint photo exhibition –Agahugu Gato (Little Country).
Three months on, a lot more has happened at the centre from photography workshops, portfolio reviews, to artist talks.
In February, Nigerian documentary photographer Tom Saater facilitated a workshop and artist talk at the centre, as did Ned Castle, an ethnographic documentarian based in the Northeast U.S. Mark Ludak, an American photographer and art teacher at the University of New Jersey also shared his 30 year photography journey.
The latest activity was a workshop by Christian Peter, a Switzerland-based travel photographer who specializes in landscape and travel photography. Peter introduced participants to the vintage Polaroid SX-70 vintage camera. The workshop closed on Saturday March 10. Organised by the Goethe Institute Kigali and Partnership Jumelage, the workshop drew seven local photographers to work on projects about places/things they like or dislike, and what the meaning of home using the vintage camera.
“We don’t want to limit this space to only photographers, but also people that are interested in photography should come and learn what the photographers are doing and how they do it and what their personal story is, because at the end of the day people need to know each other,” Nkinzingabo explained.
“I’m still pushing and trying to convince other photographers to come to this place and document the narrative of this country and show how beautiful this country is.”
The center’s next planned activity is a solo photo exhibition titled Passing By.
Organised by Jennifer Mudahogora, it will be the first solo exhibition since the centre was launched. It runs from March 17.
Nkinzingabo was inspired to start the Kigali Centre For Photography after taking part in Documenta, a contemporary art exhibition which lasts three months (July-September) in Germany.
“I was invited not as an exhibitor, but to meet and learn from other artistes and come back home and create something,” he revealed.
“I had always had a dream to create a space for photography in Kigali and I felt this was the time”.
His idea was to create a space “where someone can go for two to three months to learn more about photography”, one where photographers could meet and display their work.