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Rwanda

When Land Shortages And Poverty Force A Nation To Turn To Cremation

In Rwanda, where 60% of people live below the poverty line and land is scarce, burying the dead comes at too high a price. A new bill before Parliament would introduce cremation, a totally novel concept in this country.

A grave site in Rwanda (elisa finocchiaro)
A grave site in Rwanda (elisa finocchiaro)
Venant Nshimyumurwa

KIGALI - To reduce the cost of funerals and conserve arable lands, the Rwandan government plans to introduce cremation, a custom that is totally foreign to Rwandan culture.

The prices of tombs in Rwandan cemeteries are exorbitant for the poor seeking to bury their dead. "In Kigali and elsewhere, people sometimes have to abandon their dying family members out of fear that they won't have enough to pay for the funeral," says a villager. In Rusororo, a town 20 kilometers from Kigali, a funeral costs from $25 to $1,500 depending on the size of the grave and the materials used.

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Future

Robot Artists And Us: Who Decides The Aesthetics Of AI?

Ai-Da is touted as the first bonafide robot artist. But should we consider her paintings and poetry original or creative? Is this even art at all?

Ai-Da at work

Leah Henrickson and Simone Natale

Ai-Da sits behind a desk, paintbrush in hand. She looks up at the person posing for her, and then back down as she dabs another blob of paint onto the canvas. A lifelike portrait is taking shape. If you didn’t know a robot produced it, this portrait could pass as the work of a human artist.

Ai-Da is touted as the “first robot to paint like an artist”, and an exhibition of her work called Leaping into the Metaverse opened at the Venice Biennale.

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