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The Key: Opening The Future With A Key From The Past

Art breaks barriers. It's a universal language of unity and harmony. It's the key to a peaceful future - at least, that's what SODIC and CARAVAN are hoping to achieve with their exhibition, The Key.

Standing awestruck in the face of Cairo’s spectacular murals and piercing graffiti - poetry reflecting the country’s vital themes of freedom of expression and religious coexistence - comes as a natural reflection of a city constantly exploding with all kinds of invigorating art and culture. Murals, graffiti, sculptures, and ancient and modern buildings make up only a small part of the visual scenery of the country. So, it should come to us as no surprise that some of the best art exhibitions take place right here against the cultural backdrop of our very own Cairo.

The Key, CARAVAN’s 2016 art exhibition, will be kicking off here in Cairo before heading to London and New York City, showcasing 40 Middle Eastern and Western artists who will be creating visual masterpieces using 3D fiberglass sculptures of the Ankh – the Ancient Egyptian symbol of the key of life, a representation of peace and harmony. What better way to promote such a deep message than making fiberglass representations of one of the most interesting symbols of Pharaonic Egypt? The interplay between the modernity of the fiberglass and the ancient symbol it projects makes for a very intriguing combination.

Artist: Suzan Shoukry

Perhaps what’s most interesting about this art exhibition is that it tackles a heavy but important theme - religious coexistence - that is usually compressed into passive news headlines and sound clips. The exhibition brings this vital theme closer to us through our own symbolism and culture, making it more real and more relevant.

Calling for harmony, peace, hope, and tolerance is the heart of the exhibition, which hopes to spread messages of tolerance and togetherness in a currently troubled world. While promoting peace building – particularly between Eastern and Western cultures – the exhibition will also be contributing 30 percent of total sculpture sales to Educate Me, a program to support the education of underprivileged children in Egypt.

Artist: Peter W. Gray

Curated by CARAVAN Founder and President, Reverend Paul-Gordon Chandler, and artist Reda Abdel Rahman, the exhibition promises to mirror a beautiful entwining of art and humane messages of hope and tolerance. CARAVAN, an international interfaith arts NGO, has proved that art can be a medium for tolerance and acceptance of different faiths and religions.

The Key is sponsored by SODIC, which believes that art has a duty of crossing historical and everyday barriers that exist in society, stopping free and natural expression. SODIC is a strong supporter of local artists who make use of different kinds of art and architecture in their works.

Abdel Rahman sees that art is a social message and that every work of art needs to carry a political, societal, or even artistic message. He believes that it is important to discuss religious coexistence in arts, and that if such issues are not targeted, wars and sectarian conflicts will erupt.

Abdel Rahman adds that their message of peace is always received with great enthusiasm on the artistic, social, and political levels, with the artists usually supported by the Egyptian embassy and the ambassadors of Egypt as they travel the world, showcasing messages of peace and harmony. Before they head off to spread this message, they'll be doing so right here in Cairo from March 15th to April 12th. To kick off the creativity, there’ll be a reception at Riverside on March 15th at 7 PM leading up to the revealing of the exhibition at Nile Art Gallery. The exhibition will be running until April 12th every day from 11 AM to 9 PM.

Curious to find out even more? Check out the Facebook event page.