“Khobz” : An Art Exhibition


Do you like bread? Have you ever imagined your breakfast without a loaf of baguette? How would you enjoy a delicious turkey sandwich without Panini. Can you ever enjoy a plate of ‘foul’, on a Friday morning without ‘balady’ bread.

Now bread is being used in a different way, one that we are not used to in Egypt. Seeing that bread is a very important component in people’s meals and more than half the population on Earth consumes bread daily, a group of artists have  put together a bread exhibition.

The artists in the “Khobz” exhibition are 12, each presenting their work, where they can each explore a different aspect of bread.

The bread exhibition taking place at the Darb 1718 gallery, taking the concept of  bread “out of context” as they have explained, and they will be  looking  at the relationship between bread, culture, politics and its important to societies and their survival.

Egypt is the world’s largest consumer of bread and has been on the brink of revolution in 2008 when there were bread shortages, and people had to stand in long lines at humble bakeries to get subsidized bread. Several arguments would take place everyday some which have led to the death of seven people in total. In an attempt to solve the problem the Egyptian Army has been made responsible for baking bread and delivering it to the bakeries.

 Similar problems have occurred at the beginning of the 20th century but in Russia, where wheat shortages resulted in the sparking of the communist revolution in 1919 ending the Tsarist rule in Russia. Thus, it looks like bread is such an important aspect of people’s lives.

 Darb 1718 is a non-profit organization that aims at benefiting the contemporary art movement in Egypt, by providing a place for new  local talents to show their work for the masses to get to them, and also to provide lovers of art in Egypt with the work of famous local, regional and international arts. Along side this, Darb 1718 encourages new work and holds workshops at their institution.

So, if you want to get a new taste of bread and look at some contemporary work with a pinch of history visit the Darb 1718 at Kasr el Sham3 St., El Fakhareen, Old Cairo, behind the Hanging Church and Amr Mosque. The best way to get there is to take the underground and the nearest Metro station is the Mary Girgis stop.   

 The “Khobz” exhibition is on display until the 7th of November, everyday from 10am- 2 pm, and reopens from 4-9pm. The centre is closed on Thursdays and only operates from 4-9pm on Fridays. 

-By Mennatallah Fouad Youssef

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