Twenty days have never been so short, so rich in experience! Berlin has unlocked so many new senses in my being like in a game, you know? Because I felt like I was in an adventure Gameboy play. Berlin is fascinating. The people are respectful and that is great! The bonus for me was meeting various artists from across the world, going to inspiring cultural events and enjoying the amazing taste of Düners yum yum yum!!
As for the past that led to these beautiful experiences, it all started with a casual encounter with Jens Dietrich in 2017 at Rwanda Arts Initiative. He was working with Dorcy Rugamba, who is his longtime collaborator. Dorcy runs the space. I go there sometimes without any particular agenda, simply because I feel home at the home of Rugamba Cyprien, my all-time favorite poet. That afternoon, as the sun sets behind Mont Kigali, Jens told me a little bit about Planet Kigali, which he was working on with Dorcy and another storytelling project in the pipeline. Later on in time, Jens asked me if I was interested in the project? I said, “We’re on the same path, I’ve been doing the same work with La Voie De La Légende. I’m in.”
Fast forward, Feb 2019: Jens returned to Rwanda with Milena & Klaus, who are artists navigating through various formats (experimental music and sounds, theatre, performing arts…) The meeting was so on point that we dove into the work straight up. We traveled around Rwanda recording personal stories that focused on identity. Not what others say about you but what you say about yourself. At the same time, Klaus was creating music by sampling old Rwandan records. The project RWANDAN RECORDS was taking shape.
Next, I applied for a Schengen visa and for the first time, I didn’t have to scream to get. It came in about a week. Amazing!
6th March I was in Berlin. We got into rehearsals, finalized with translations and the structure of the installation.
21st-24th March, the Rwandan Records museum installation was open as a part of Find The File festival at the HKW. Klaus and I performed about every 25 minutes during the 3-hour music walkthrough installation. Here’s a glimpse.
Much love and appreciation to everyone who came through, to the crew, Goethe Institut, HKW, Iriba and the storytellers: Assumpta Mugiraneza, Natacha Muziramakenga, Karinganire Évariste, Kimenyi Hervé, Wesley Ruzibiza, Mukakimenyi Odette, Ntakirutuma Paul, Mushabizi Jean Marie Vianney, Déo Munyakazi, Prof. Mbonimana Gamaliel, Nkurikiyimfura, Mukandoli aka shongore, Yannick Kamanzi. And, the ancestors!