Who we are:
Gudran Association for Art and Development is a coalition of artists, writers, photographers, directors, dramatists, and musicians motivated by what we call “the artists’ social responsibility-” to abandon the traditional spaces of exhibition and performance, activate our artistic practice in the street, and stimulate contact with all aspects of Egyptian society. We aim to promote positive social transformation through the development of artistic practices that involve more members of society and surpass the state of stagnancy surrounding contemporary art.
Gudran began in 2000 as an artistic initiative to explore the implementation of art as an impetus to development in the Village of Fishermen in El Max, West of Alexandria. Members of Gudran taught the villagers various forms of art that the villagers were in turn able to sell inside Alexandria to support their community. In April, 2003 Gudran was registered under Egyptian law as a non-profit NGO. Gudran was founded in an artistic reality where most artists avoided contact with Egyptian society, isolating themselves to the traditional spaces of art. Meanwhile, Egyptians had gradually withdrawn from any social participation and resigned to merely making a living. Thus art became an elite practice disconnected from life outside the gallery. People had lost their faith in social change during a time where propagandists and supporters of superstition and irrationality held the only power in the streets.
In such an environment, Gudran was launched as an artistic initiative to defy the mood of despair among the Egyptian people and spark active cultural participation. Gudran does not see the members of Egyptian society as merely a receptive audience, but as possible creators who can participate in the fostering of artistic movements. By creating an aesthetic social environment that encourages people to be open to new ideas, Gudran supports the activation of the Egyptian imagination to incite positive social transformation. Gudran encourages the meditation of Egyptians’ own social problems through a system that promotes learning and cultural development via art as a means to confront problems within their society.
We aspire to live in a society that enjoys a rich cultural and artistic life and has sufficient resources for persistent development. Our projects aim to widen horizons and open our community to other cultures and opinions.
We strive to create an aesthetic environment that encourages community members to achieve their artistic potentials and enables them to progress towards a better future.
Our mission is to aid in empowering marginalized communities in our society. We do so by cultivating the aesthetic sense of their members and supporting creativity among all categories of the society, in a way that does not endanger the unique characteristics of those communities. We hope activate a sense of social responsibility among artists and to provide opportunities for them to participate in the process of social transformation.
- Developing and supporting artistic projects in the street in order to involve individuals of different backgrounds and activate their social participation.
- Spreading the culture of dialogue and peace among youth, and using art to promote the concept of societal collaboration.
- Raising awareness about the importance of unique developing areas which face marginalizing and deterioration.
- Encouraging artists’ towards increased social responsibility, by creating a sphere that allows artists to work in the street with different sections of the society. In doing so, we hope to create a better reality in which all community members, including the artists, can live a better life.
- Working as a communication bridge between contemporary Egyptian and international artists.