There is a story behind every decorative artifact. Art fosters creativity, creates jobs and preserves our rich historical and cultural heritage. When you come across a piece of art, look at the combination of color and texture. Observe the juxtaposition of objects. Muse over shadows, shapes and dimensions. Pay attention to every little detail and you will get into the creative minds of artists.
Hanging a great story on your wall and reviving the past. Unlocking the power of imagination and listening to the silence of non-verbal communication. Promoting divergent thinking and rewarding diligent hands. There is magic in all of the above.
Before the outbreak of COVID- 19, I had been visiting different parts of Rwanda and sharing my experiences through different platforms for about three years. My tour of Rwanda is currently suspended but I am still writing for my clients and updating this blog everyday.
The services I offer the mainstream media are considered essential. I am allowed to go to the field but I chose to stay indoors until the lockdown is lifted. Since I am encouraging people to avoid unnecessary movements, I should as well walk the talk.
If I am staying home, where do I find stuff to write about? Well, for the first time since I started writing, I am forced to carry out secondary research. I don’t like it but no one likes what we are going through right now. Quite often, I look at photos I used to take when I was on a tour and see a million untold stories in them. As long as I have a collection of photos I took during my pre-corona life, I will never run out of stuff to cover. This is my preferred way of creating digital content in isolation.
While checking my Flickr account earlier today, I saw a photo of decorations made by women from the Urugo Women’s Opportunity Center located in Kayonza District. I studied their wall decor handcrafts and drew an inspiration to write this piece.
I know wall decor isn’t essential in the middle of a global pandemic but I bet you have been staring at your wall more often lately. For the first time ever, you are probably realizing how boring your wall is. No offense.
The splendid interior design of your favorite restaurant is fading into distant memory. The artistic embellishment of your sports bar doesn’t mean anything now. The fancy accessories of that coffee shop you used to frequent are gathering dust. Circumstances have made the ornaments of your executive office insignificant. You are stuck in the house, staring at the wall you ignored for a long time.
Your wall may not be attractive but the good news is, when the lockdown is lifted, you won’t have to fly to Dubai or Quanzhou to buy decor items because our very own artisans are making better ones.
Sooner or later, the lockdown will come to an end but the passenger planes will probably stay grounded longer. Our borders are likely to stay closed over an extended period of time. Whether we like it or not, our movements will be restricted to some degree until the coronavirus is mitigated all over the world and precautionary measures are taken to avoid a possible new wave of infections.
Cargo aircrafts, ships and inter-state trucks are moving but there is need to reduce our dependency on imported goods. Time has come for us to embrace made in Rwanda products and pump the little air we can gasp into our deflated local businesses.
Turning to our locally made products will spark the much needed economic stimulus plan. Furthermore, putting an artistic touch of cultural significance on your wall will inject a new lease of life into your home.
The author is an adventurer whose mission to discover Rwanda’s tourist attractions is suspended until further notice. Follow him on Twitter @ExposureRwanda