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The Academy of Art in Szczecin in Kigali, Rwanda

In August 2022, Rector of the Academy of Art in Szczecin Prof. Miroslawa Jarmolowicz and Main Coordinator of the TPAAE project Prof. Aleksandra Lukaszewicz journeyed to Rwanda to extend TPAAE’s educational development and transcultural perspective further in East Africa.

At the behest of the Ambassador of Rwanda in Poland, Prof. Anastese Shyaka, their visit to Kigali took place with the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of Rwanda. Shayaka paid a call to the Academy of Art in Szczecin in June 2022 and the Senior Officer in Charge of Privileges, Immunities and Accreditation, Jean Pierre Nshimiyimana, personally shepherded them in the Rwandan capital.

While there, the Rector and the Coordinator participated in a series of meetings that centered on areas of common interest that might provide a foundation for development of the arts. These included:

  • the Ministry of Youth and Culture, with Director General of Culture Promotion Twahirwa Aimable and CCI Specialist in Diversity of Cultural Expressions at Rwanda National Commission for UNESCO Francois Nyangezi
  • the Kigali International Art College, with college staff
  • with Epa Binamungu, CEO of the Inganzo Arts Centre
  • the University of Rwanda, with representatives from the Rukara College of Education, including Acting Principal of the College of Education Dr. Florien Nsanganwimana

As a result of these sessions, the pair identified spheres for possible cooperation. These include:

  • international exchanges in the field of music and music therapy with the Rukara College of Education via the Erasmus+ program, and possibly with in conjunction with other colleges at the University of Rwanda
  • capacity building through scholarships funded by Rwandan government to educate the staff at university level in the field of fine arts
  • the creation of internships and apprenticeships with the Kigali International Art College and Inganzo Arts Center through Erasmus+ exchanges

Following these meetings, representatives from these institutions and the Ministry of Foreign Affair & International Cooperation formed a working group that aims to create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Academy of Art in Szczecin. The MOU will specify areas of cooperation, opening the door to future research.

The pair also used their time in Rwanda to visit the Niyo Arts Gallery, Iteme Arts Space and the exhibition of paintings by Epa Binamungu at the Hotel Des Mille Colline in central Kigali to get a taste of the local art scene.

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