A recap on Provoc(ART)ive: The ALU Rwanda Arts festival 2019.
The Arts@ALU is a community of artists and creatives within the ALU Community. This group of talented students and staff members are passionate about keeping the Arts alive at ALU, celebrating our richly diverse culture, as well as hosting the Annual Arts Festival at the end of every academic year. This year, the theme for the Arts festival at ALU Rwanda was Provoc(ART)ive. The theme was a call to action to be brave and confident enough to be who you are, to fight for what you care about, and to celebrate diversity within humanity while harnessing the power of art to impact positive change. The three-day festival explored different art forms including music, comedy, painting, fashion, and visual arts.
One of the key highlights of this year’s arts festival is that it allowed more engagement between ALU and the Rwandan arts community. Kigali’s vibrant arts scene brought up the energy and allowed the ALU community to get more immersed into the beautiful culture. Day one of the festival hosted the first ever collaboration between ALU and the Artery. The open invite event brought the vibrant Kigali arts scene to the ALU Rwanda campus with artists such as Mike Kayihura and Angel Mutoni performing at the event. It was also an opportunity for the outside world to discover some of the amazing artists at ALU such as Olivier Rugwiza, a first-year student whose masterpieces of visual arts set the ambiance for the event. More community engagement happened when on the second day, during the Cross culture event, we were honored by the attendance of Masamba, a Rwandan musician who shared his support of the arts and celebrating African culture with pride.
Through the theme, different artists were able to share stories and initiate important conversations on social issues that affect society today. UMVA, the drama club at ALU, showcased an engaging play on some of the struggles that young artists in Africa face, especially when trying to convince family members to support their dreams. At the same time, Allupella, the acapella ALU community, presented a powerful performance on domestic violence and its impact on individuals and society. These were a powerful reminder to the community on the power of art in storytelling for positive change. The arts festival was also a space for growth and learning. This was achieved through workshops on different skills including fashion design, videography, painting, and a special workshop on Improv acting, hosted by one of our facilitators.
The Arts@ALU team of dedicated artists and creatives will definitely go down in history as the initiators of a legacy that is now part of the ALU culture. ALU Rwanda Arts festival 2019 served to fulfill its theme by using art to communicate powerful messages and provoke people to be part of positive change at whichever level of authority. We are definitely excited to see what the future holds for this esteemed tradition.