At first we ask ourselves about the name but few minutes after the lecture began we start to understand that it is all about images and what they really tell us, what do you see in those different images.
She came for the first time to Rwanda after being fascinated by a picture of an over-terraced hill. She wanted to understand, why? And how, a culture is organized and a society works in order to produce a change in the landscape like that.
Yutaka has been working in Rwanda with General Architecture Collaborative. This firm works not only in architecture but also related to anthropology.
One of their projects in Rwanda is to work with people to build an imudugudu but also researching about the evolution of Rwanda architecture, the importance of western architecture and conceptions and their relation with Rwandan traditions
She discussed about the latest constructions built in Kigali comparing them to the Nyakatsi, she defended that the image of the country is changing according to the needs of the government and the needs of the foreign investors. The beautiful green gardens and shiny new buildings are an image addressed to the foreign investors to give them an idea of the country, related to modernity, safeness and economic growth.
Yutaka’s work studies the idea of reconciliation in Rwanda; it’s not only a matter of people but also a matter of spaces. How can we get peace through spaces, and through building processes. When the offender build a house for the victims or when they all site together in the same space.
It was interesting to see her point of view of “domestic spaces” here in Rwanda. How she understands the discretion of the Rwandese people in public spaces. She explained how private spaces in our houses are more “public” and freer, than the actual public ones. How we use the back of our “domestic home”, changing it into a public space, were we invite outsiders, enjoy and discuss.
She explained her idea of western people having a wrong image of Rwanda, they don’t see people laughing, dancing but they see people carrying guns, peoplewalking almost wearing nothing and tell us she will go back in Syracuse university and will discuss with her students about images she will bring from Rwanda and show them that the images they have of us are wrong.
During her work in Albania, on an old rail station, she designed a transformation of an abandoned rail station. It was interesting to see how her idea of transforming something and adding something can change everything rather than to destroy it and start scratch.
At the end of the lecture we start to think more about images we look at, what do they really tell us, those millions of images we see everyday?