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WSA-R Members Shine at ArtfulHer Event Celebrating Women Through Creative Expression

Writers Space Africa-Rwanda (WSA-R) in partnership with Sundays Art Hub, Tarama Rwanda Initiative, and Credible Designs Ltd, on Saturday, March 30, hosted ArtfulHer, an event dedicated to celebrating women through creative expression.

The event also served as a tribute to Women’s History Month (March) and International Women’s Day, observed annually on March 8.

It saw poetry, storytelling, and visual art enthusiasts treated to a showcase of narratives and creative expressions that celebrated the essence, achievements, and contributions of women, while also shedding light on the ongoing challenges and disparities they face in various spheres of life.

Speaking at the event, Patrick Nzabonimpa, the Founder and Country Coordinator of WSA-R, expressed gratitude to the audience for honouring the occasion of celebrating women, emphasising the importance of perpetuating the celebration through the powerful medium of art.

“Celebrating women is very important to us because these are our sisters, mothers, friends, and colleagues, among other individuals. And what could be a best way to celebrate them as artists than art itself? Additionally, the majority of our members (56 per cent) are women. So we have many reasons to celebrate,” he said.

ArtfulHer invited participants to explore narratives and experiences of women through three main sections: art exhibition, spoken word poetry and storytelling and an open mic session.

At around 5:30 p.m., participants visited an art exhibition at Sundays Art Hub. There, they viewed various artworks, including paintings and abstract pieces, created by or about women. The artworks showcased themes of resilience, beauty, strength, and the challenges women face, among others.

At 6:20 p.m., the MCs energised the crowd to kick off the spoken word poetry and storytelling section. Performers, both female and male, explored a range of themes related to women, including womanhood, empowerment, resilience, identity, diversity, sisterhood, feminism, strength, justice, body positivity, femininity, beauty, motherhood, family, creativity, change, and leadership, among others.

Poets like Vivian Omah Ofre, Olga Colombe Nyampinga, Roger Manzi, JDC Kimirantare, Dudepoet, Hairiah, Ira Badena, Orca, Gisele Umurungi, Benimana Domi, Gisele Ingabire, Parfait Nzeyimana, and Divine Akimana, among others, used their artistic verses to invite audiences to contemplate and connect with different experiences of women.

Performers, through the art of storytelling, also shared intimate narratives and insights that shed light on the realities of women’s lives.

At approximately 7:50 p.m., Dr. Hagit Deborah Adler, a literature lecturer and researcher specialising in contemporary African Literature and African Art, took the stage to guide the audience through a series of contemporary female visual artists. With her presentation titled “Contemporary Influential Female Artist,” her goal was to inspire female artists to craft memorable art, all while celebrating the richness of women’s creative work.

After her engaging talk, participants gathered for an open mic session around a cozy fire pit.

The inclusive space provided an opportunity for any audience member to share their art about women, expressing their thoughts, feelings, and perspectives on various themes. The session featured poets, storytellers, and other audience members sharing in different languages such as English, Kinyarwanda, French, and Arabic.

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