By Aya Ragheb
Cairo, Oct 11 (EFE).- An exhibition focused on contemporary art has opened its doors to visitors in several spaces in downtown Cairo, where artists are reflecting on Egypt’s diverse heritage through modern artistic styles.
The second edition of the Cairo International Art District exhibition is currently running in old parking lots and closed shops by Art D’Egypte, a privately owned Egyptian firm founded to support the Egyptian arts and culture scene.
Spanish artist photographer Paula Anta is taking part in this year’s event with a piece made out of thermal blankets that can be seen on display at the exhibition main room.
“This is a very special material related to temperature maintenance to express precisely how the planet’s temperature is changing,” the photographer tells Efe.
Anta used thermal blankets as an unconventional material on which photographs of roots, tree branches, rivers and shores were printed, an art piece that goes well with climate change as one of the event’s main themes in light of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, which Egypt will host in November.
The exhibition that kicked off this week will run until October 30, with help from international sponsors.
Ahmed Hafez, a fine arts professor at the University of Alexandria, is taking part in the exhibition for the second time, believing that an event of that sort creates a sense of “movement and competition among artists.”
Contemporary art is gaining ground in some circles in Egypt, where an impressive artistic legacy has started to evolve, especially after 2011 when the revolution broke out to leave an undeniable impact on Egyptian culture.
Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, curator and founder of Art D’Égypte, says “this year is a little different, we exhibit in nine different places, and normally what we want to do each year is to create a different experience so that everyone can access and visit the works of 100 Egyptian and 20 international artists.”
Abdel Ghaffar explains she does not prefer modern spaces when it comes to organizing an exhibition, hence, “the idea is to exhibit in historical spaces and change them every year to reach more people, because, in the end, we are not a gallery, but a platform that aims to democratize art.”
This year’s exhibition includes contemporary art collections whether by solo artists or groups from Italy, Tunisia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, France, the United States and Saudi Arabia, while the event offers free workshops for students and art lovers. EFE