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The East African : Apr 8th 2017
APRIL 8ò14,2017 The EastAfrican DISCOVERY WHITE CUBE New museum to address inequality A new museum and art space focusing on the worldwide inequalities and plight of plantation workers in the third world will be opened in Lusanga town in Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congolese Plantation Workers Art League (CATPC) and the Amsterdam-based Institute for Human Activities (IHA) will inaugurate the museum on the former site of a Unilever palm oil plantation on April 21. The White Cube space designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture will function as the cornerstone of the Lusanga International Research Centre on Art and Economic Inequality (LIRCAEI) in Lusanga. A five-year plan for research dedicated to the empowerment of plantation workers across the global south will also be launched. LIRCAEI is a joint initiative of CATPC and IHA. The research centre is dedicated to the transformation of former plantations into artistic spaces of beauty and ecological diversity. The members of CATPC are plantation workers and artists, who create sculptures made of cacao and other works. All profits from the sale of their sculptures go back to the Congo, where experimental, community-owned cacao and palm oil gardens are being established. The aim is to retain profits within the community, to buy back land, and finance development. The inauguration will include an Internet platform, marking the launch of the five-year plan. It will include contributions from the plantation workers alongside artists Sammy Baloji, Marlene Dumas, Michel Ekeba, Eleonore Hellio, Carsten Holler, Irene Kanga, Mathieu Kasiama, Jean Katambayi, Jean Kawata, Mbuku Kimpala, Thomas Leba, Jeremie Mabiala, Daniel Manenga, Mega Mingiedi, Emery Mohamba, Cedrick Tamasala, Marlene Dumas and Luc Tuymans. The recently published monograph dedicated to CATPC’s work will also be presented during the inauguration. The White Cube will focus on exposing worldwide inequalities and generating a new and inclusive economic and ecological model to redress them. - Bamuturaki Musinguzi MAGAZINE IX IN THE MIND: Ahishakiye described a garden of grass and flowers, with paved paths; there will be rooms with electronic documentation on the Genocide against the Tutsi. But the garden only exists in his mind MEMORIAL GARDEN REMAINS A DREAM Robert Mbaraga, Special Correspondent Memory — have been weathered by a decade of rain and sun. The rock is neglected, but genocide survivors say the project will one day become a reality. “We are confident that one day we will have a garden A of memory in this place to honour our massacred parents, brothers and sisters,” said Naphta Ahishakiye, the executive secretary of Ibuka, the umbrella association for genocide survivor organisations in Rwanda. Currently, the project exists only in Ahishakiye’s mind. As I walked through the graves at the Nyanza memo- rial site where 11,000 people were buried, Ahishakiye described a garden of grass and flowers, with paved paths; there will be rooms with electronic documentation on the Genocide against the Tutsi. Some 4,000 Tutsis were hacked to death with machetes at this site, in 1994, after they were forced to march from Kicukiro Technical School where they had been abandoned by a UN contingent. “We thought of having something special and dif- ferent from what is found elsewhere — a garden with more than a million stones, each bearing the name of a genocide victim — unlike other memorial sites around the country where we mostly find human remains and names on a wall,” Ahishakiye explained. The stones would be grouped according to districts, to give a true picture of how the genocide affected different parts of the country. “We settled on stones as something permanent to rock in the shape of the Rwandan stands on the peak of Nyanza hill. The words engraved on it — Garden of Family and relatives of victims stand near the grave after laying a wreath at the Nyanza memorial site. Inset, a rock in the shape of the Rwandan map stands on the peak of Nyanza hill. Pictures: Cyril Ndegeya mark something so transient like life. omething concrete and steady when all e is in turmoil, to comfort the survivors hough their loved ones have departed the stone stays,” Ahishakiye said. The garden would also serve as a meditation place for reflection. The project was inaugurated in 2001, in the presence of first lady Jeanette Kagame. But now, 16 years later, there are only suggestions of what the place should look like, nothing more. Long eucalyptus trees now occupy the three hectares of fenced land, surrounded by gutters constructed to prevent erosion from the rain. Surrounding the plot are modern residential buildings in the fast-growing Kicukiro suburb. “We had challenges with securing the necessary funds to implement the project, but we are still talking to partners,” Ahishakiye said. The initial projected cost of the garden was $300,000, but with inflation Ibuka has raised the projection to $400,000. The project was delayed by the prioritisation of searching and burying the remains of genocide victims. With no potential partners in the offing, Ibuka con- templated raising funds from within the county, but the organisation says it was hard enough to convince people to participate in commemoration activities, let alone asking them to contribute money. However, “it is now evident that the whole commu- nity has owned this and we are confident that if one was to raise funds for this because it is likely to be successful,” Ahishakiye said.
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Apr 15th 2017