This report, titled An Assessment of Artistic Freedom: Rwanda, offers a comprehensive overview on the current state of freedom of artistic expression and proposes practical solutions for artists, audiences, and advocates in defending their rights to free expression. The report aims to guide the government and other stakeholders in effectively promoting and protecting these rights, benefiting both the creative community and society as a whole.
The Study used a variety of methods, such as desktop reviews of relevant studies and publications, as well as interviews with artists and cultural practitioners from the thriving cultural and creative sector. The study revealed significant challenges to artistic freedom in Rwanda, including divergent views on cultural values, criticism of modern art for promoting immorality, and the influence of religious beliefs on artistic expression. Historical context, particularly related to the recent genocide against the Tutsi, was identified as important for artists to consider. Professional development barriers were also identified, including limited growth opportunities, financial constraints, and a geographic imbalance in cultural infrastructure.
Furthermore, the absence of a recognized professional status for artists and discrimination against LGBTQI individuals were highlighted. To address these issues, the study proposed recommendations such as capacity building programs for artists, increased investments in the cultural sector, and measures to ensure equal distribution of cultural infrastructure. Copyright enforcement was also deemed crucial.
This research study provides a comprehensive analysis of the challenges faced by artists and offers practical recommendations to protect and promote artistic freedom. By implementing these insights and solutions, stakeholders, including artists, audiences, and policymakers, can work towards fostering an environment that values and encourages artistic expression in Rwanda.