The Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project (GAP) will administer two week in-person exchange for three Native American young women and ten Rwandan young women in July 2020 for the output of a public exhibition that will last for four months in Kigali, Rwanda. Through the Green Architecture Project, young Native American female student artists from the Pueblo region of New Mexico will travel to Kigali, Rwanda to connect with young Rwandan female student artists living in Kigali through a cultural exchange that results in one collaborative art exhibition.

The artist call for the Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project is now open. All artists who meet the following guidelines may submit portfolios, artwork images, links, and statements to apply@soulofnations.org by Friday, March 6, 2020. Please list the subject of the email as “GAP”. For questions please contact ernest@soulofnations.org.

ARTIST REQUIREMENTS:

    • Artists must be between the ages of 18-30 during the time of submission
    • Artists must be of Rwandese or Native American descent
    • Female artists are highly encouraged but not required
  • Student artists attending an art college or university are encouraged but not required

THEME: environmental stability

Traditional forms of Indigenous and African architecture have often been misrepresented in mainstream media and academia. Historically, many Native Americans and Africans resided in rural areas and lived in structures constructed with materials that have been obtained locally. These structures were created through the use of architectural techniques that have been utilized for generations. Unfortunately, a myth exists that Native American and African vernacular architecture is substandard, temporary, or for the poor. Indigenous communities from North America and traditional communities from Rwanda are continuously striving for environmental stability. However, these communities are often met with natural and governmental challenges that have threatened the traditional value of vernacular and cultural practices for residential styles of architecture.

All participants will be between the ages of 18-30 and must attend an art college or university. The young women will explore the culture, history, politics, and contemporary experience of Indigenous communities in America and African communities in Rwanda. This exploration will help the young women to conceptualize how their cultures intersect within the framework of a number of issues pertaining to the access to affordable housing, urban planning, environmental policy, and traditional architectural representation in the popular imagination. The understanding of this phenomenon will be actualized through the collaborative art exhibition that will be open for four months in Kigali.

The overarching objectives of the Green Architecture Project include:

    • Empowering marginalized youth and communities via creative and artistic expression
    • Further the understanding of Native American heritage and that of Rwandans
    • Create an environment conducive to effective collaboration
    • Engaging in dialogue to gain a clearer understanding on what freedom and environmental stability looks like entails while examining current setbacks
    • Utilizing culture as a vehicle to expand discourse
    • Creating and strengthening a female network among the participants
    • Examining historic challenges through a contemporary frame
  • Encouraging personal growth and social awareness on a global scale

By connecting Native American communities with Rwandese communities for a culturally artistic exchange, participants will be presented with creative time and space to discuss and depict their viewpoints on Pan-Indigenous contemporary society and work towards gaining a better sense of international environmental stability through architectural and artistic prisms.

The U.S. Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda is a major partner for the Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project. The Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project coincides with the U.S. Embassy Kigali Public Affairs Section’s program priority to promote inclusive country-led development. The project also falls in alignment with the U.S. Embassy Kigali Public Affairs Section’s mission to support artistic and cultural workshops, joint performances and exhibitions, cultural heritage conservation and preservation programs, professional and academic exchanges and programs, and to promote opportunities for vulnerable populations including, girls and women.

The United States and the Republic of Rwanda enjoy a partnership that began in 1962, just after Rwandan independence. This Rwandan-American partnership is deeply rooted in the shared ideals of our two countries. The U.S. Embassy in Kigali works together with the Republic of Rwanda to strengthen the bilateral partnership by advancing the key goals of regional stability, shared economic prosperity, and expanding democracy, human rights, media freedom, and access to justice within the Republic of Rwanda.

Soul of Nations is seeking local partners and master artists in Kigali to support this project and others to come. If interested in partnering with us please email ernest@soulofnations.org.

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