Crafts and Folk Art
About the Creative City:
Flowing through the golden desert and around emerald islands, the Nile forms the lifeline of the city of Aswan and its unique archipelago. In Ancient Egypt, Aswan, known as “Sono” meaning “the market”, was a commercial center for convoys going to and from Nubia. Aswan was also known as the Land of Gold, given its treasured history as a cemetery for the Nubian kings who had presided over the city over thousands of years.
Aswan has remarkable heritage in crafts and folk arts, creative exchange, arts education, and civil engagement. Its traditional crafts include beadwork, tablecloth production, palm branch and leaf creations, as well as clay and needle-work products.
Folk traditions and customs in clothing and jewelry are present at local ceremonies such as weddings, funerals and other important events. Aswan is celebrated for its more than 50 traditional folk dances that are still part of the local culture today, thanks to initiatives such as the Aswan Folk Troupe comprised of dancers and musicians who perform around the country.
To preserve and maintain these long-lasting traditions in crafts and folk arts, Aswan also has several institutions such as the Aswan Museum and the Nubia Museum, which houses an anthropology department focusing on the preservation of the folk arts from Aswan. The city also organizes numerous events celebrating the local culture drawing artists from around the world, such as the International Symposium of Sculpture which focuses on reviving the Egyptian art of carving on the hard stone of Aswan.
Aswan’s museums, International Symposium of Sculpture and the Aswan Folk Troupe are illustrations of the local community’s efforts to support sustainable development, mutual understanding and the fight against poverty and illiteracy though culture and creativity.
As a Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art, Aswan envisages:
- promoting the sustainable development of local communities;
- organizing cultural events;
- developing capacity building initiatives for artisans; and
- engaging in exchange and cooperative initiatives within the crafts field and with the UCCN as a whole.
Mervat Abdel Hady, Consultant for Inclusive Developement, Aswan Governorate, firstname.lastname@example.org
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