Rwandese-British artist. Research-based, multidisciplinary practice.
Music / Visual Languages / Installation.
Visitng the family ancestral mountain in Rwanda, 2017
Stéphanie Kabanyana Kanyandekwe is a Rwandan-British composer and multidisciplinary storyteller working between Narrm/Melbourne, and Rwanda. Multiple forms of synaesthesia add a neurodiverse dimension to Stéphanie’s identity as a third culture individual. Her research-based practice explores the construction and archiving of culture through transcription into experiential narratives.
Stéphanie’s work focuses on layered and nuanced sensory engagement in installation and theatrical performance settings, referencing Rwandese storytelling styles alongside contemporary art music techniques from tertiary training in composition and performance practice. Stéphanie’s interactive, tangible, story-telling format, enables cultural context to remain and be respected.
Stéphanie writes and presents Passenger, a weekly show on the ABC Classic radio station, to a national and international audience. In Passenger, Stéphanie takes the audience on a journey through matching storytelling with the art music of different destinations and cultures across the world.
Presented in both Melbourne and Paris, Stéphanie’s breakout work Illusions on Self Motion is only ever presented when a dialogue can introduce it, standing in opposition to the superficially performative western presentation of race and genocide issues. Illusions on Self Motion presents alternative iterations of conversation on these issues using music, dialogue and digital projection as the languages. Illusions on Self Motion was part of a collaboration with creative and now Sydney Biennale director Brook Andrew.
Stéphanie has held residencies across multiple disciplines, including with Torika Bolatagici’s Community Reading Room project as Reader In Residence, and most recently in 2019 as part of the Forum of Sensory Motion’s series of travelling residencies diving with the Giant Cuttlefish congregation in South Australia as research for a new interactive narrative piece.
Stéphanie has been commissioned to work with organisations such as NGV, Liquid Architecture, Arts Centre Melbourne, Musica Viva, MONA, ArtsHouse, ArtPlay, Next Wave Festival, Seventh Gallery, Noir Darkroom & Gallery, and Gaffa Gallery.