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Rwand-art to help external relations

Rwand-art to help external relations

Thursday 25 July 2019

Rwand-art to help external relations


A local artist is being given the opportunity to travel to Rwanda and create an original body of work inspired by the country and its culture as part of a bid to enhance diplomatic ties with the country.

Working in partnership with ArtHouse Jersey, the "research" trip is being funded by the Government of Jersey's External Relations Department as part of its ongoing efforts to develop a relationship with Rwanda.

It comes after the External Relations Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, signed an agreement with the Rwandan High Commissioner aiming to strengthen Jersey's financial ties with Rwanda in June.

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Pictured: External Relations Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, signed the Addendum with the High Commissioner for Rwanda to the UK, Her Excellency, Yamina Karitany.

ArtHouse Jersey announced the creative exchange initiative this week, and is now seeking applications from local artists interested in taking part. They say that applicants need to be "adaptable and highly organised, able to work in an unfamiliar environment."

"We are ideally looking for someone who is self-motivated and keen to discover Rwanda through their own research and tenacity," the arts promotion body said. 

The commissioned artist will travel to Rwanda later this year - flights, accommodation, materials and food paid - and spend two weeks researching the local culture and arts scene, taking inspiration from contemporary and traditional art forms. They will also be expected to integrate with the local arts community, working with an identified local Rwandan artist.

Upon their return to the island, the artist will then be expected to create a new body of work representing their experience, while also reflecting on Jersey and its traditions. 

It is still unclear what will happen to the artwork once it has been completed as discussions are still underway with Rwandan officials, but it is expected that it will be exhibited in both jurisdictions.

“This project is the latest stage in efforts to increase cooperation between Rwanda and Jersey as part of the Memorandum of Understanding between both governments, which was signed in 2016 and updated in 2019, and which includes a commitment to ‘identify and support opportunities for cultural exchange, including through the arts,'" a spokesperson for ArtHouse explained.

"As the artwork will be a symbol of the increasingly close relationship between Rwanda and Jersey, it is hoped that there will be opportunities for it to be displayed in both Jersey and Rwanda – possibly during Rwanda’s hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2020.”

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Pictured: Artists wishing to apply have to write a 500-word proposal.

To apply, artists should send their CV and three examples of their work to ArtHouse Jersey before 1 August. 

They will also need to write a 500-word proposal explaining how they would embrace this experience, an overview of what they would seek to make/do, and why they should be selected.  

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