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Darb 1718 Contemporary Art and Culture Center [Egypt]

Darb 1718 is an Egyptian non-governmental organization, registered in 2008, that "aims to have a long-term impact on the entire geographic area of Fustat [Old Cairo] surrounding the cultural centre", which is "located in an neighbourhood rife with poverty and unemployment on the one hand, and is also adjacent to a historic tourism site on the other hand (Coptic Cairo with its ancient churches, synagogue and mosque)."

Thus, the Darb 1718 Contemporary Art and Culture Center aims "to offer training opportunities in the arts for the Fustat residents to generate income and improve their livelihoods and to integrate the culture center in the tourism route of Old Cairo, in collaboration with travel agencies and tourism authorities. It also seeks to "earn the loyalty and respect of artists, art institutions and the general public by promoting a sense of excellence, originality and creativity that is universal and helps build links across cultural differences."

With regard to the contemporary art scene, the objective of Darb 1718 is threefold:

  • "to exhibit the works of largely unseen local artists alongside those of established regional and international artists who have rarely or never exhibited in Egypt;
  • to provide local artists with opportunities for international exposure and cross-cultural exchanges;
  • to implement developmental programs that include workshops, debates, films and other educational initiatives." (source: Darb 1718 website)

To get a feeling of the place, watch: Massar Egbari at Darb 1718 Cultural Center, Cairo 1.5.2012

To see the concept applied on traditional arts and crafts, read: Workshop / Art of Ceramics