Fierce Femmes

19 Apr 2024 - 4 Jul 2024

Opening on 18 April at 6 pm in the presence of the curator, Jemima Kakizi, and Cynthia Butare, photographer.

On view from 19 April to 4 July 2024.

In the heart of Rwanda's dynamic artistic landscape, "Fierce Femmes" emerges as a poignant testament to the indomitable spirit and multifaceted identities of Rwandan women. Through a captivating blend of artistic expression and storytelling, this exhibition delves into the complexities of contemporary Rwandan womanhood, inviting viewers on a journey of introspection and exploration.

Meet the artists of FIERCE FEMMES

Following the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda embarked on a journey of cultural reconstruction, witnessing significant transformations. Among these shifts was the return of many individuals from abroad, where they had lived in diaspora for decades. In recent years, Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, has experienced a flourishing of new private art galleries and cultural spaces, managed primarily by a cadre of talented young artists. These artists, inspired by the burgeoning changes in Rwanda and the rich tapestry of Rwanda’s traditions, delve into various art forms, including music, dance, poetry, and fashion. Their works are not only shaped by local influences but also by international connections and a cosmopolitan style.

The photography of Cynthia Butare captures the grace of Rwandan women as they navigate between tradition and modernity, reflecting the realities of their historical background and contemporary aspirations. The series “Rwandan Women Weaving Threads of Change” highlights Rwandan women as sculptors of the country’s narrative, from tradition-bearers to architects of change. 

Teta Chel's paintings offer a profound exploration of the inner battles and triumphs of Rwandan women in a male-dominated society. Through semi-abstract compositions, Chel sheds light on the untold narratives of survival and perseverance, sparking essential conversations on taboo issues such as mental health and sexuality.

In "Working Women”Odile Uwera pays homage to traditional feminine values of hard work, love, and sacrifice. Her digital drawings, infused with earthy elements and textured black and white imagery, underline the foundational role of women in Rwandan communities, and the importance of agriculture. 

Crista Uwase’s collages depict scenes of a grain market in the country side. Her artwork of vibrant colours and intricate layers of torn paper and paint celebrate the resilience and strength of women and highlighting their vital role in the local economy.

Lastly, with the video artwork Amavuka ya miziguruka [La naissance de miziguruka], Miziguruka offers a visual manifesto for her core concept "I want to be home on the street": women's freedom from societal pressures, exploring themes of femininity, empowerment, and self-expression through fashion, theater, and multimedia art forms.

Through these diverse voices and perspectives, ‘Fierce Femmes’ offers an immersive experience that challenges preconceptions and celebrates the resilience and dynamism of Rwandan women. We are honoured to amplify their voices and stories, inviting audiences to celebrate the contributions of Rwandan women to the vibrant tapestry of Rwanda's cultural identity today.

This exhibition has been curated by Kakizi Jemima.

Akimanizanye (Kakizi) Jemima (b. 1992) is a multidisciplinary artist and curator, nominated for the Forbes Women Africa Social Impact Awards 2023 and featured in the book “Her-Story” by Kvinna till Kvinna, highlighting 32 courageous and visionary women in Rwanda, who have been instrumental in advocating for women’s rights through history. Since 2013, she has been painting on subjects such as women’s empowerment, environmental protection and mental health. Prompted by the lack of visibility for women artists, Jemima became a fervent advocate aiming to elevate women in visual arts. This led her to establish Impundu Arts, which focuses exclusively on women visual artists. Jemima has worked on art projects with UNICEF Rwanda, the Rwanda Art Museum, Girl Effect, Göthe Institute, Creative Action Institute and Kvinna till Kvinna to name a few . She has exhibited her work in various countries, including Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Germany and South Korea, and has curated various

Dr Ceri Chillier-Whatley is the instigator of this exhibition, and has curated "Performing the New Rwanda", a playlist curated to deepen your connection to the artistic narrative of Fierce Femmes. Music, poetry, and dance hold profound significance within Rwandan culture, and alongside the visual art showcased in this exhibition, we invite you to immerse yourself in this music meticulously selected.

Opening hours

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday: 12h00 - 18h00

Thursday: 12h00 - 20h00

Friday: 12h00 - 18h00

Saturday: 10h00 - 18h00

Sunday: closed

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