It’s become a cliche, but one of the few positives to come out of the Jan25 Revolution was the jolt it gave the art scene in Egypt. Spurred either by a feeling of responsibility to comment on the revolution through their mediums, or any other motivation, it kick-started a new surge of life into an underground scene that had previously been almost habitually dismissed by the mainstream.
There’s still a long way to go before there’s a real plurality in the arts in Egypt, but artists, musicians, photographers et al, are taking things into their own hands, as a group of Egyptians did on January 25 2016 with Facebook campaign, Fanan Msh Mashoor (Unknown Artist).
The campaign offered aspiring artists a chance to showcase their work online, but bigger plans are afoot for the movement – namely the Egypt Art Festival.
Set to be held between the 17th and 21st of April at Cinema Palace in Garden City, the festival is been touted by organisers as the first of its kind, with the best work shared on the festival’s Facebook page set to be showcased alongside several workshops. Speaking to Daily News Egypt, photographer and organiser, Mohammed Saed, is confident that the festival could be a real turning point for aspiring artists. “The whole idea came to our minds last year when we launched Alwan Festival to present young talents in the fields of art, literature, poetry and cinema. With the help of artist Omar El-Baghdady,” he continues, “we decided to give a chance for new people to present their talents and perform in front of large audiences.”
50 painters, 50 photographers, 24 comic artists, 12 singers and three musicians will be chosen to showcase their talents during the festival and the campaign has attracted the attention of artists from across the Middle East, too.
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