A special project in the field of cultural exchange is the exhibition "Products in Dialogue", in which Rwandan and Rhineland-Palatinian designers present their work together. In 2018 the exhibition was opened for the first time in Kigali by Malu Dreyer. Now, since August 2019, it can also be seen in Rhineland-Palatinate.
"With this exhibition, we want to make an active contribution to a design dialogue between Rwanda and Rhineland-Palatinate," explained Roger Lewentz, Minister of the Interior of Rhineland-Palatinate, at the opening of the exhibition "Products in Dialogue" at Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz on august 29th 2019. Until august 20th 2020, Rwandan and Rhineland-Palatinate design products, including jewellery, shoes, furniture, lamps and fashion designs, as well as photographs showing artists from both countries in their working environment, will be on display in the Landesmuseum Koblenz. "Design is also a common language," says Daniela Schmitt, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, "and this language is capable of connecting people and cultures across borders.
The exhibition is a cooperation project of the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage Rhineland-Palatinate (GDKE - Generaldirektion Kulrurelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz) with its cultural centre Festung Ehrenbreitstein and its regional museum in Koblenz as well as with the Designforum Rheinland-Pfalz - descom and the Partnerschaftsverein Rheinland-Pfalz/Ruanda e. V. "Product design in particular is also about a cultural identity, which this exhibition shows in a wonderful way and that was exactly our intention", adds Thomas Metz, Director General of the GDKE.
"Products in Dialogue" is the continuation of an exhibition cooperation which started in September 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda and was opened by the Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer. The idea was to present design from Rwanda in dialogue with design from Rhineland-Palatinate. "There is a small, young, extremely good design scene in Rwanda that is also very active internationally," explains Silke Philipps-Deters from the Design Forum. Together, the up-and-coming designers want to present a new, different image of their country and thus draw attention to Rwanda.
In Kigali, "Products in Dialogue" has been very successfully received and has since been exhibited in the Rwanda Art Museum in Kigali. "We are showing the same products and motifs in Koblenz, but in a slightly different exhibition concept because we have completely different premises here," says Philipps-Deters. Following the exhibition in Kigali, we collaborated with a member of the Design Forum jury. Julia Kahl is editor of the English-language design magazine "Slanted" and has published her own special edition on the creative scene in Rwanda.
At the opening of the exhibition in Koblenz, designers taking part in a relaxed atmosphere exchanged ideas with the publisher Julia Kahl, Michael Nieden from the Partnerschaftsverein Rheinland-Pfalz/Ruanda and Silke Philipps-Deters from the Designforum Rheinland-Pfalz.
Original German Text: Pressemitteilung Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz
Bilder:© GDKE, U. Pfeuffer