Promoting a more sustainable future through the universal language of art was the mission of the first edition of the World Art Forum (WAF), held in Cairo, Egypt. WAF is one of the largest international contemporary art events.

World Art Forum, a festival dedicated to art and sustainability
World Art Forum, dedicated to art and sustainability

WAF was held from January 15th to January 19th at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation. The event hosted hundreds of artworks, cultural institutions and more than 150 artists from 30 different countries.

Presented by the organizers as “the largest international contemporary art event that places the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the centerpoint of its mission”, the World Art Forum was held under the auspices of five Egyptian ministries and in partnership with the United Nation and the New York International Contemporary Art Society.

“This event is the first of its kind and it is held in Egypt, the land of civilization and culture. After the event, several artistic and development initiatives are expected to be organized, to emphasize the concept of continuity and sustainable development. For the first edition of WAF we choose to focus on SDG 17. WAF focuses on key development and social issues such as climate change, women’s equality and economic development”, explains Randa Fouad, contemporary artist and founder of the World Art Forum.

Randa Fouad, founder of World Art Forum
Randa Fouad, founder of World Art Forum

Contemporary art plays a key role in “raising awareness on social issues, as it is a universal language that brings people together”, added Ms. Fouad.

Italy was represented by seven Italian artists: Alessandra Bilotta, Barbara Beratdicurti, Fabio Imperiale, Kristina Milakovic – Serbian who works in Rome-, Letizia Rigucci, Tatsiana Pagliani and finally, painter Giorgio Piccaia.

Piccaia, son of an artist, participated in the World Art Forum presenting three of his compositions related to the theme of the exhibition, such as “Iside e Osiride, la nascita dell’umanità“, an acrylic on wood.

The artwork “evokes the eternal dilemma of veiled nature, which every human being must discover in order to know itself. The succession of the symbols of Isis and Osiris is the search for knowledge lost and then found again, in the rhythm of our lives”.

Giorgio Piccaia, Italian painter
Giorgio Piccaia, Italian painter

The connection between art and environment in the works of Piccaia – in addition to the WAF – emerges from the “site specific” exhibitions that in recent months have involved the artist in baptisteries of northern Italy, such as the exhibition at the Romanesque baptistery of Agrate Conturbia, with the title “Piccaia, omaggio alla Natura. San Francesco e Fibonacci, una lode al Creato”, where the artwork “Il Rosario di Fibonacci” stands out.

During the five days, the WAF program also hosted a wide range of artistic events and discussion panels that will discuss “the role of art in promoting sustainable development goals and building partnerships between artists and development partners” as explained by WAF in a note.