Arts Meet Crafts: from Contemporary to Traditional
The KEEP it REAL! project, conceived and carried out by ARCHiNOS Architecture, brought together contemporary Egyptian and European artists with traditional craftspeople of Cairo in the collective creation of artistic works. In October 2014 a series of working sessions were conducted in artisans’ workshops in four traditional neighbourhoods of Cairo, where eleven works of art in different materials and media were produced in a collaborative effort of artists and craftsmen. It was followed by the exhibition of the resulting works in the Bayt al-Sinnari Centre for Arts, Science, and Culture in Cairo (operated by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina) in February 2015, including a public presentation of the work by the authors and artistic workshops. A web site presenting the ongoing work and its results in videos, photographs, and texts has been produced by ARCHiNOS: www.artsmeetcrafts.com.
The objectivesof the project were: broadening access to modern art in Egyptian society, and enhancing the diversity of contemporary Egyptian culture by inviting contemporary artists to work with traditional craftspeople in workshops located in underprivileged neighbourhoods.
The project was primarily financed by the European Union Delegation to Egypt as part of its EU-Egypt Cultural Cooperation Programme, with contributions from the British Council, the Embassy of Poland, the Embassy of Switzerland, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, Poland.
Watch the project’s work in the videos created for ARCHiNOS by Taher ‘Abd al-Ghani
Pictures of the opening on 1 February 2015 in Bayt al-Sinnari
2014 – 2015
Location: “City of the Dead,” Siq al-Ta‘aban, Fustat, and Darb al-Ahmar areas of Cairo;
Bayt al-Sinnari Centre in Sayyida Zeinab district in Cairo.
Project Director: Agnieszka Dobrowolska
Project art curator: Klio Krajewska
Project management and coordination: Klio Krajewska, Taher Abd al-Ghani.