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Rwanda Arts Museum Exhibition Brings Rare Glimpse Into Rwanda’s History

by Vincent Gasana
5:46 pm

Visitors to the exhibition

If a picture is worth a thousand words, there must be at least a book, in the exhibition now at Rwanda Arts Museum, Kanombe.

The exhibition, “Visual Memories of Rwanda,” is a partnership between Rwanda Cultural Academy, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The exhibition brings together over a hundred image representation of Rwanda, between 1930-1980. The images, portraits and landscapes, many of which up until now, have not been accessible to the public, offer a rare glimpse of Rwandan cultural heritage.

The project is part of the Swiss Cooperation’s wider two year initiative to support arts and culture.

We are convinced that arts and culture are the pillars on which the identity and diversity of our world rests,” says Regional Director of the Swiss Cooperation, Dr Marc de Santis, “it is the mirror of our values, our traditions and our collective aspirations.”

The research and collection of the images was the work of a combination of specialist researchers, and dedicated volunteers. The team used cutting edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) scanning technology, to carefully restore thousands of old photographs and slides, to be displayed in large formats of up to AO size, for the first time anywhere.

The exhibition also shows in colour, two films that are over seventy years old, including the filming of the Hollywood depiction of Rwanda, “King Solomon’s Mine” in 1949. The then co-director of the film also contributed photographs to the exhibition.

Arguably more faithful to Rwanda’s history and culture, is the 1953 film, depicting the court of King Mutara III Rudahigwa, 1911-1959. The film, which had been lost, has been restored for the exhibition, and can now be seen by the public for the first time.

The exhibition continues until the end of April.

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