A year ago, Mellowviews published its first magazine issue. The idea to go beyond online posts about art and culture, and compile a publication of reviews, essays, prose, and poetry, grew out of an effort to highlight analytically contemporary Rwandan and regional creative talent. Whereas the first issue was experimental, this one takes on the task with a lot more certainty that — in the words of Agatoni, one of the contributors — “Art matters (because it moves).”

This issue contemplates the reasons behind art criticism and explores the politics around ownership of art. It also features a photo essay entitled ‘Capturing the Ordinary’, from which the magazine cover was adopted. You will enjoy a selection of essays, prose and poetry that are truly fitting to include in this year’s issue. I invite you to read each and every piece.

In modern day, what is thinking without the art of writing? And what is the future of writing — and thinking — without young writers? What is society without art, without culture? Mellowviews is young, not fancy, and everything but regular and — don’t be mistaken — that’s certainly what makes it so special. At this stage, anything is possible and we ought to be awake.

Rwabigwi is a social entrepreneur, working in education and strategy. He loves pencils.