Under the Auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and the Egyptian Tourism Authority, Something Else at the Citadel redefines Cairo’s Narrative at the Salah al-Din Citadel
from November 24 to December 23
Cairo, Egypt – November 2023 – Something Else at the Citadel, the groundbreaking international contemporary art exhibition, is set to return for its third edition on November 24, 2023 transforming the historic Salah al-Din Citadel into a month-long presentation of global artistic expression. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Egyptian Tourism Authority, this edition marks a significant partnership between Darb 1718 and the Citadel for Asset Management, solidifying Cairo’s status as a cultural heart of the region.
Darb 1718 and the Citadel for Asset Management are proud to bring together over 20 curators and 150 contemporary visual artists from over 36 countries for Something Else at the Citadel. Among them will be the esteemed artist Dr. Ahmed Nawar who will be honored and will showcase a retrospective of his work at the Royal Carriages Hall of the Citadel during this exhibition. This edition, led by Chief Curator Simon Njami, delves into the profound meaning of contemporary art in today’s world. After two successful exhibitions in 2015 and 2018, the event has found a new home within the walls of the iconic Citadel, the most significant monument in Historic Cairo, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, creating a vibrant space where Egypt’s cultural heritage intertwines seamlessly with contemporary artistic expression.
Amr El Kady, CEO of the Egyptian Tourism Authority, expressed his excitement about the event, stating, “Something Else at the Citadel” adds a unique layer to our efforts in promoting Egypt as a cultural destination. By integrating contemporary art into the historic fabric of the Salah al-Din Citadel, we showcase our rich history and cultural diversity, enticing visitors to experience the dynamic fusion of the old and the new.”
Ahmed Shaboury, Managing Partner at Citadel for Asset Management praised this collaboration saying, “The Citadel for Asset Management is committed to preserving and promoting the outstanding universal value of Salah al-Din Citadel as it was the seat of government and influence for almost seven centuries acting as the platform on which Egypt’s formidable history unfolded. Our goal is to create a thriving historical destination steeped in contemporary cultural experiences as this partnership with Darb1718 exemplifies, allowing for the continuation of the creative dialogue between the historic walls of the site and the ever-evolving art and culture scene developing in Egypt and around the world.”
Highlighting the importance of the event in fostering cultural partnerships, Moataz Nasr, Founder of Darb 1718 says, “I am thrilled to partner with The Citadel for Asset Management to organize this historic event and witness personally the transformation of The Citadel, once considered a symbol of protection, to a haven embracing, supporting, and bringing together visionaries from different corners of the globe. The exhibition aims to nurture social, cultural, and economic partnerships, redefining the Citadel as a safe and fertile space for creativity and collaboration.”
Commenting on the role of arts in uniting people, Simon Njami, Chief Curator– France, Cameron Swithland states that “Art is a form of expression and a universal language that connects people above all ideologies, regardless of their religions, ethnicities, and political values. It brings together all positive energies in the world and helps us to reconsider our priorities as human beings and as artists. In this historical site, we are going to convey ancient memories to dream of new futures. As suggested by the poet W.B. Yeats, the work is never done. There is always something else to be discovered, something else to be formulated, something else to be invented.”
While in previous editions, Something Else at the Citadel was spread around Cairo, this year’s edition marks a departure from the previous structure, consolidating the exhibition within the Citadel’s historical walls, celebrated as a city within a city. The Citadel, with its diverse historical layers, offers an unparalleled setting for storytelling, embodying an undeniable assemblage and portrayal of Egypt’s rich cultural diversity.