The World Art Forum for Development Foundation (WAFDF), led by Artist Randa Fouad, launched its 3rd annual exhibition today at Banque Misr Museum. Titled “Bank Nut for Sustainable Art,” the exhibition is a groundbreaking event in Egypt and the Middle East, as it exclusively features Recycled and Upcycled Art. This showcase underscores the crucial role of art in driving social change, promoting environmental awareness, and bolstering the creative economy. The event is held in partnership with Banque Misr and Tatweer Misr.
The exhibition witnessed the distinguished presence of visual artist Randa Fouad, President and Founder of World Art Forum for Development Foundation, Mohamed El-Etreby, Chairman of Banque Misr, and Ahmed Shalaby, President & CEO of Tatweer Misr. In addition, esteemed officials from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Environment, and Banque Misr, as well as renowned visual artists, joined the significant event.
This year’s exhibition features 100 Sustainable Art Ambassadors who have undergone a year of training with WAFDF. It also presents contemporary artworks by prominent Egyptian upcycling artists. In a show of support for Palestinians, the foundation has pledged a portion of the proceeds from young artists’ works to go to the Egyptian Red Crescent.
Artist Randa Fouad, President and Founder of World Art Forum for Development Foundation, stated, “This year, we’re embarking on a larger-scale venture, the first of its kind in Egypt and the Middle East. For the third edition of this event, we’ve gathered a group of talented visual artists from Egypt and around the world. These creators aim to incorporate natural resources into their work to reduce the environmental impact, encourage society to adopt sustainable approaches and achieve sustainability in art.”
“Since its inception, WAFDF’s mission has been to bridge the gap between visual art and sustainable development, firmly believing in the influence of soft power to raise awareness and serve the community. The foundation’s exhibition at COP 27 in 2022 sparked the idea of the Sustainable Art Initiative, aimed at supporting youth and bolstering the creative economy, entrepreneurship, and SDGs. Under this initiative, a group of talented young artists has undergone training, and their works are now on display at the ‘Bank Nut for Sustainable Art’ exhibition, where they serve as ambassadors of sustainable art, showcasing their exceptional skills and knowledge,” she added.
Mohamed El-Etreby emphasized that Banque Misr’s support for the ‘Bank Nut for Sustainable Art’ exhibition is a part of the bank’s endeavors to promote the role of visual art in advancing sustainability and Egypt’s Vision 2023. He highlighted that the event’s goal is to cultivate the SDGs and convey them to the audience using the universal language of art.
Commending the World Art Forum for Development Foundation, Ahmed Shalaby acknowledged its contribution to sustainability through visual art. He also pointed out, “Tatweer Misr’s strategy revolves around implementing sustainability standards across all our activities. This includes our integrated projects, where we invest in sustainable, intelligent, and thriving communities, as well as our corporate social responsibility initiatives aimed at supporting creative young individuals seeking to actively contribute to society.”
The World Art Forum for Development Foundation distinguishes itself from other art institutions by actively engaging young artists and placing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the core of its mission. It blends passion and expertise in art curation and organizes national, regional, and international art events and projects that are closely aligned with Sustainable Development.
The Forum unites artists from across the globe, with a special focus on Egyptian artists, to communicate using the universal language of ART. WAFDF’s goal is to establish a sustainable connection between fine arts and the SDGs.
The first series of workshops on Sustainable Art and Human Development was named “Bank Nut,” alluding to the banknote. In Ancient Egyptian mythology, “Nut” represents the goddess of the sky and heaven, where all creative ideas converge beneath one common sky. Consequently, the outcome of the art workshops draw inspiration from Egyptian heritage.
In the initial phase of the initiative, 40 artists took part and created a diverse range of recycled artworks using various waste materials. These workshops were conducted in collaboration with the National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, which serves as the training division of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development. They were launched under the auspices of Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Environment, and the National Council for Women, in partnership with UN Egypt, in April and May 2023.
The second round of workshops took place at the National Training Academy in collaboration with the World Youth Forum and UN Women, spanning June and July 2023. During this phase, 30 participants were trained to promote environmental awareness through their artwork, alongside gaining entrepreneurial skills and a deep understanding of the SDGs.