At times, art inspires, at other times it expresses or beautifies or questions, but in all cases it purifies a person’s emotional state. Unfortunately though, the importance of art and the power it possesses is underestimated and underexposed. Egyptian Artist Abdel Wahab Abdel Mohsen was very aware of this sad reality, and decided to take an action to change it!
Abdel Wahab founded the non-governmental organization “Abdel Wahab Abdel Mohsen Foundation” to help push forth the importance of art and create interaction between people and art. Three years ago, he began an annual art festival initiative in Burullus – a small fishing town in Egypt. The festival was held this year between October the 1st and October the 15th. It brought forth the collaboration of heavy international and local artists, for the sake of injecting color, life and happiness into the lives of people initially cut out from the rest of the country.
“Burullus is completely unexposed to and cut out from common humanly interactions and there is no presence of joy,” Abdel Wahab says. “Therefore, we bring life into their lives through art, to improve their generic mood, and make them feel like they are a part of us and we are a part of them,” he beautifully adds. The foundation chose this town specifically due to its significant natural beauty. The place is naturally beautiful, but lacks life. For Abdel Wahab, the natural habitat in Burullus is magical, and its position as a boat manufacturing location has attracted many artists.
We intentionally wanted artists from all over the world, in order to teach the townspeople and children acceptance towards those who are different and to teach them communication
This year, the festival attracted artists from 14 different nations including Portugal, Jordan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, India and North Korea and Tunis. They painted walls and buildings, adding onto the freely hand-painted murals from the previous 2 festivals, creating a further explosion of art. Moreover, a specific amount of boats were manufactured for the festival, and each recruited artist painted a boat, further expanding the art onto the waters of Burullus. “We intentionally wanted artists from all over the world, in order to teach the townspeople and children acceptance towards those who are different and to teach them communication,” Abdel Wahab explains.
This year the children were anxiously anticipating the festival, and shared their dreams of becoming artists
An important part of the festival revolves around getting the townspeople – especially the children – involved in the painting process. The festival is extremely interactive, which helps yield in the communication process. During the first festival, the children were very aggressive, unaccepting, unwilling to collaborate and impatient. However, this year, the third festival showed the massive change the initiative and its art have had on the people. This year the children were anxiously anticipating the festival, and shared their dreams of becoming artists. Furthermore, they began painting and drawing on their own, showing off their work to the artists.
“I find that preventing children from joy, is a form of aggression,” Abdel Wahab powerfully concludes.
Follow the foundation’s Facebook page here, and feel the explosion for yourself below!