Minister of Culture Helmy El-Namnam inaugurated the 26th Youth Salon (aka Salon El-Shabab) on 11 October, at the Palace of the Arts on the grounds of the Cairo Opera House.
El-Namnam was accompanied by Hamdy Abo El-Maaty, head of the Fine Arts Sector, as well as an array of artists, critics, and journalists.
This year, 149 artists under the age of 35 displayed 166 works of art in a variety of art mediums, including photography, installation, painting, sculpture, and video.
El-Namnam asserted that the Youth Salon “is one of the important cultural initiatives in Egypt, and through it researchers can understand the youth’s hopes and goals, as well as this age group’s relationship with the local and international community.”
El-Namnam also added that the 26th edition comes at the peak of the cultural challenges of globalisation, and the spread of radical thoughts that attempt to threaten our Egyptian identity and culture.
The minister added that youth play an important role in confronting these challenges while spreading hope towards real human development.
For his part, Hamdy Abo El-Maaty stated that ever since the salon’s inception in 1989, youth artists await the annual competition to release their creativity and enrich their talent.
This year’s jury was headed by Ahmed Ragab Sakr, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Minya, as well as members Mohamed Ishaq, Khaled Srour, Howaida El-Sebai, Fathy Abd El-Wahab, Weam El-Masry, Islam Abdallah, Bassam El-Zoghby, and critic Heba Ezzat El-Hawari.
The Youth Salon was launched by the Ministry of Culture in 1989 to support young emerging visual artists. First named the Experimental Salon of Young Artists, the event's name was soon changed to Salon El-Shabab.
The Salon helped kick off the careers of many prominent Egyptian artists, including visual artist Hany Rashed and renowned sculptor Ahmed Askalany.