Rwanda will host the first edition of the Kigali Triennial, a vibrant and multi-discipline art festival celebration of African arts aimed at promoting creative arts, culture and tourism in Africa.
The festival, a brain child of the Rwanda Arts Initiative (RAI) will bringing together over 200 artists from 25 countries who will perform in Kigali and upcountry from February 16 to 25, 2024.
The Kigali Triennial will be different from other festivals held on the continent previously such as the FESPAD- which are limited in areas of focus to dance and music, cultural exchange; unlike the Kigali Triennial which will have about 10 different art disciplines all packaged in ten days.
The multi-disciplines include: Theatre, Dance, Visual Arts, Cinema, Art and Tech, Literature, Fashion, Design, Music, Gastronomy ((practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food), Workshops and Forums (for knowledge sharing).
The Kigali Triennial, which will take place every three years, is jointly organised by the Ministry of Youth and Arts in collaboration with the City of Kigali and the Rwanda Arts Initiative.
This year’s festival will be held under the theme “Where art, knowledge, and economy converge” the event will showcase dynamic artistic talent, training and knowledge sharing workshops, foster international collaboration, and position Kigali as a global cultural hub.
During a press briefing this February 12, 2024, the Minister of State for Youth and Arts, Sandrine Umutoni, emphasized the government’s commitment to supporting arts as a means of promoting youth development.
Umutoni stated that the Government of Rwanda acknowledges the vital role of arts in youth development and actively supports artistic endeavors such as the Kigali Triennial.
“Art can be an important force capable of strengthening our national unity, while also acting as a catalyst for job creation, economic prosperity, and contributing to the overall enrichment of our society’s cultural heritage” Minister Umutoni said.
Umutoni stated that during the festival, the ministry expects to seal partnership deals with sponsors, renown artists to promote the local industry beyond Rwanda but also help follow up to ensure that there is a continuity beyond the festival.
The festival boasts of an impressive lineup featuring renowned creative art stars such as: Dorcy Rugamba actor, director, playwright and artistic director of the Kigali Triennial, filmmakers Sonia Rolland and Katy Ndiaye, Senegalese gallerist and designer Benita Cissé, and actors Atome and Isabelle Kabano.
Music legend Khadja Nin will curate the closing concert which will feature local talents like Kivumbi, Mike Kayihura, Bushali, Kaya Byinshi and Alyn Sano. Performances will take place at prominent venues throughout Kigali, including Camp Kigali, Canal Olympia, Ciné Mayaka in Nyamirambo, and Marriott Hotel.
Beyond the performances, the Kigali Triennial will offer forums, workshops, and masterclasses, for cultural professionals and the public alike.
Kigali City Mayor Samuel Dusengiyumva expressed enthusiasm for the event, emphasizing its significance and its role in fostering increased international collaboration.
“We are thrilled to host the Kigali Triennial in our beautiful and clean City of Kigali. We encourage city residents to show up in big numbers for performances that will take place and we have no doubt that they will find something that’s just right for them, given the diversity of the programme” said Mayor Dusengiyumva.
The 10-days festival is set to be held in popular art spots and designated entertainment areas such as the Biryogo car- free zone (mostly known as “Mu Marange”), Kigali Car- free zone in the heart of Kigali, and Kigali Cultural Village. The event will also go to Burera, Rubavu and Musanze districts.