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Aswan celebrated folk arts through its 10th International Festival of Art and Culture

Aswan celebrated folk arts through its 10th International Festival of Art and Culture

Thu, 02/16/2023 to Wed, 02/22/2023

From 16 to 22 February, Aswan, a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art, organized the 10th Aswan International Festival of Art and Culture. Held annually, the event aims to celebrate the "Baptism of the Sun", a unique natural phenomenon made possible by the creative genius of ancient Egyptian architects. Occurring on specific days, this phenomenon takes place when the sunlight enters the temple of Abu Simbel, a globally known UNESCO World Heritage Site, and illuminates the three statues located inside, namely of Pharaoh Ramses II, Ra the sun god, and Amun the king of the gods. In line with the celebration of this heritage, the 10th edition of the festival was an opportunity to showcase the diversity and richness of contemporary folk arts throughout the region.

Organised by local and national authorities, including the city of Aswan and the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Aswan Creative City Commission and the Ministry of Antiquities, the festival gathered more than 250 artists from 10 countries in the marketplace of Abu Simbel and offered a wide array of folklore performances building up to the celebration of the "Baptism of the Sun".

Featuring traditional costumes and rites, the festival promoted the region’s multicultural heritage and offered 21 folkloric groups a hub for dialogue and exchange, thereby demonstrating the power of culture for intercultural communication between peoples on a local level.

In line with UNESCO’s Global Priority Africa, the festival was also an occasion to celebrate the importance of preserving African creativity and heritage for future generations, in the context of the 50 years since UNESCO's international safeguarding campaign to save monuments, notably the Abu Simbel temple, in the Nubia region.

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