Carole Karemera, born in Brussels in 1975 but of rwandese origins, is an actress, director, saxophone player, contemporary dancer who has appeared in many internationally acclaimed film, theatre, television, and dance productions since 1996.
After she completed her high school in Brussels, Carole Karemera studied at the Royal Music Conservatory of Mons and then the one of Brussels where she won the First Prize for “Drama and Declamation”. She also danced with the company Ultima Vez Vandekeybus.
In 2002, she joined the movie industry, starring in some short and long films sush as the HBO-produced "Sometimes in April", a powerful drama about events in Rwanda in the Nineties written and directed by Raoul Peck, or "Sounds of Sand", directed by Marion Hansel. The strength of her acting and her uncommon energy make her the perfect incarnation of Pamela (in "Black", by Pierre Laffargue, 2009).
In 2005, Carole Karemera decided to settle in Rwanda. There, she quickly get involve into cultural projects focused on openess and access to culture for everyone. In 2007, she co-funded Ishyo Art Center with other seven talented women. The centre began with a mobile library at first “the Caravan Book” to emphasise literature and reading culture; it comprised of books and training artists who could move to different places and could perform for free especially in several public schools for mainly kids. At that time, there was not any cultural centre in Rwanda, apart from the French cultural centre, which had also closed, therefore Ishyo Art Center appeared as the Rwandan Cultural Hub in the Heart of Kigali. The art center is a platform for all artists, arts lovers, cultural professionals, activists, critics, entrepreneurs and everyone else who is passionate or just curious about traditional and/or contemporary modes of artistic expressions and works in various disciplines sush as literature, dance, music, poetry, theater etc.
If she continues to play in some african movie, Carole Karemera gave a lot of het time in her cultural engagement. According to her “there is need for more art advocacy because it’s not well perceived. It’s not only about entertainment but it’s also about the values and the social well being of the Rwandan people. There is need for more art advocacy because it’s not well perceived. It’s not only about entertainment but it’s also about the values and the social well being of the Rwandan people”. Ishyo also does advocacy for the arts which involves supporting the government to develop cultural policies which are relevant for the artists and for the cultural environment, support artists in developing applications forms to assist them to participate in festivals abroad where they can market their work.
Indeed, in parrallel of her post of director in the Ishyo Art Center, Carole Karemera is a board member of National Institute of Museum in Rwanda, a member of Academy for Language and Culture and a board member of Imbuto Foundation. Moreover, she initiates innovative projects with Rwandese and international artists, sush as the Pan African Dance Festival.
Finally Carole Karemera was the Deputy Secretary General of Arterial Network, as well as the Arterial Network Country Representative in Rwanda. During her tenure, she participated to many of the Arterial Network events, sush as the cultural policy task seminar in Nairobi, in 2009.
Learn more about Carole Karemera:
- Why the Rwandan creative sector does not enjou intellectual property? By Carole Karemera and AN.
-Newtimes: She chose arts over mathematics
- Rwanda: promoting culture through art