Egypt-based French artist Golo has launched an artistic residency that will take place at the House of Gourna in Luxor. Details of the initiative were revealed during the 5th edition of the CairoComix Festival (1-3 November).
Initiated by Golo, who has spent over two decades in Egypt’s south and prior to that two more decades in various corners of Egypt, the residency is organised in cooperation with the French Institute in Cairo, MARSAM collective, Cité Internationale de la BD in Angouleme, and the Cairo Comix Festival.
The House of Gourna is located on the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor, close to the Valley of the Kings, five minutes from Ramesseum and 15 minutes from Habu Temple, one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt’s south, with vibrant colours decorating its walls and ceilings.
According to information published by Al-Ahram Hebdo (Al-Ahram’s French edition), the residency aims at bringing together artists aged between 25 and 35 years old, and many nationalities, with the aim of providing them with new inspiration and tools to create their work. The final results of the residency, a series of cartoons, will be included in a prestigious exhibition held within the Angoulême International Festival of Comics in 2020. The works will be also displayed in the 6th CairoComix Festival scheduled to take place in early November 2020.
This year, seven international artists will benefit from the residency which lasts between 4 November and 29 December: Kathrine Avraam (Greece), Valentina Principe (Italy), Roger Feghali (Lebanon), Loic Verdier (France), as well as Egyptian artists Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Wahba El-Shennawy and Donia Mohamed.
French artist Golo spoke to Al-Ahram Hebdo, revealing that the artistic residency idea was born from his decades-long passion for Egypt.
Born in Bayonne, France, in 1948, Golo has worked as an illustrator for several French and Egyptian periodicals since the early 1970s. When he came to Egypt for the first time in 1973, he fell in love with Cairo and kept revisiting the city and producing works on it until he decided to permanently relocate there in 1993.
He has produced two books on the city, the first concerned with the city in the 1970s and 1980s, and the second focusing on Cairo in the new millennium.
Critics have hailed his honest portrayal of the country and its people, which stands in contrast to Orientalist trends in the depiction of the Middle East.
Golo’s connection with Gourna goes back to 1993 when he settled in Upper Egypt.
In Gourna, Golo wants to create something unique, to embrace artists and establish a cultural exchange of thought that will eventually reflect on the work of all cartoonists involved in the residency. The close links created by Golo between Egypt and France, Angoulême in particular, will allow the artists to get vibrant international exposure.