“Local artists should recognise the intellectual property day because we have been hungrily waiting for the copyright law to come into place.
However, only a few visual artists, performers and film makers in the country know their intellectual property rights. This is probably because art in Rwanda is still struggling to come out of its infancy stage.
The copyright law protects the artists’ work, but in my honest opinion, the law is a little intricate that artists find themselves confused on whether it does protect their craft or not.
One of the major challenges is that Rwanda does not have a proper educational background for art in general. Usually, it is the educational or professional institutions that create a movement, which in the long run curves the identities of a particular group of artists.
In this regard, schools, such as, Ecole d’Art in Nyundo (Rubavu) mainly emphasise on craft-making than visual creations. Being the only school of art in the country, Ecole d’’Art teaches artists traditional styles but does not create room for them to think outside the box. Eventually, people come out with a style that is more or less like the others.
But, luckily, when Ivuka Arts Centre came into existence, we focused on creativity, hence helping artists to identify their own distinct styles.
Collin Sekajugo is the founder and director of Ivuka Arts Kigali and African Colours Rwanda Country Representative.