Collin Sekajugo

Sekajugo's own artwork reflects on his social conscience, highlighting the link between art and community in Africa. His goal is to "use art to change lives"

Collin Sekajugo was born 1980 in Masaka, Uganda. In 2007 after traveling around Eastern and Southern Africa on a series of study tours, Sekajugo returned to Rwanda with a vision of “Using Art to Change Lives”.  This mission led him to open the first visual arts space in Kigali under the name Ivuka. During this time, Rwanda was seen as a newborn baby struggling to reconcile its turbulent past and reconstruct itself.  Ivuka, whose name connotes re-birth, became a center of hope for ambitious youth eager to explore life’s meaning through the arts.  An incubator for creative activities, Ivuka includes a joint studio space for aspiring visual artists and a children traditional dance troupe, Rwamakondera (Rwandan horns) that brings together disadvantaged children and teaches them dance as a means of healing, educating and instilling in them a sense of hope for their future.

 

A multimedia artist, Sekajugo works largely on the subject of identity, situating it in his locale. His artworks explore issues of social, cultural, economic and political identity within a larger context of the globe. The artist often deploys his figure as a central character in his painting collages as a metaphor for his multi-ethnicity and to counter the prejudices that accompany such a complex identity. He also masks his subjects face or certain body parts to symbolize the dichotomy of identity versus discrimination based on ethnicity or social class.

 

The artist’s technique of recycling locally sourced material like Polypropylene bags in his work is a response to the inclusion of contemporary consumer materials in his art. Conversely, Sekajugo’s collage paintings are symbolic of his relationship with the community: to create a narrative that the public can relate to through working with found objects like denim fabrics and waste paper. Ultimately, his collages invite conversation on durability and sustainability as a metaphor to the cliché Africa does not produce art.