From 27th to 29th May, the 5th Edition of LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTES CAIRO (PDA) took place at Darb 1718 Gallery, under the patronage of the French Ambassador to Egypt. This 5th Edition was supported by a number of Egyptian and Multinational sponsors, including TAMEER, the real estate developer who “builds around people”. We met Mrs. Isabelle GILISTRO, president of the organization committee of PDA, and Mr. Antoine EL KHOURY, managing director of TAMEER, and had a casual conversation about the shared values of both PDA and TAMEER.
Isabelle, can you tell us the story of LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTES? How does it start and what are its objectives?
LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTES is an initiative that combines Art and Charity and takes place in 2 countries so far. This initiative was created in 2006 in Istanbul for the Peace Hospital, in partnership with the Lycée Sainte Pulchérie. Thereafter it was taken up in Cairo in 2015, by 2 French expatriate ladies. It aims to promote the Egyptian Art, through showcasing Egyptian artists. Funds collected from the sale of the artworks as well as the sponsors, are allocated to financially support a Charity cause in Egypt. The exhibition couldn’t take place in 2020 due to the pandemic. We have decided this year, with a new organization committee, to take over the initiative and bring it back to life. This is a beautiful legacy that we would like to preserve and pass-down between generations of expatriates, so we can give back to the Egyptian society some of the love and friendship that the warm people of Egypt are showing us in our expatriates’ life.
Can you tell us more about the artists you are featuring and the charity project you are supporting?
We have exhibited this year around 250 artworks created by 35 Egyptian artists. Some of the artists are “internationally” renowned and others are young talents. This combination of contemporary paintings and sculptures meets the expectations of a wide audience of simple Art lovers as well as informed collectors, and gives the opportunity to young artists to promote their work and talent. It offers as well a wide range of prices that encourages visitors to buy Art and support the Charity project. This year again, We have dedicated our exhibition to the “Samu Social International”, a French NGO that takes care of the street children in Cairo since 2008.
I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to His Excellency, Monsieur Stéphane ROMATET, Ambassador of France to Egypt, who has placed our initiative under his patronage, and to our sponsors, who have shown us again their usual generosity and their constant support for our cause.
Antoine, what makes a real estate developer want to be part of an Art and Humanitarian initiative such as LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTES?
There are many Values that TAMEER shares with LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTES which attracted us to join hands with the ladies of PDA, with fellow sponsors, to make this initiative successful.
This initiative was launched and managed by four ladies who have demonstrated the crucial role of women in building a better and more human society. This is very much aligned with the values of TAMEER, where women empowerment and gender equality have been practiced naturally and organically over the decades, and are still promoted today in the day-to-day management of the company. Moreover, as a listed company with a majority of foreign shareholders and many foreign directors, we acknowledge our role towards building a better Egypt and our responsibility to give-back to the Egyptian society. Together with the PDA ladies, who also are expatriates, we acknowledge the talent of Egyptian artists and admire how deep art and culture are anchored in the history of this country.
Most importantly, we believe in the human values that stand behind the artistic side of this initiative. LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTES is not an empty event that only exhibits the esthetics of artworks. It is not neither an initiative that aims to generate revenues for the only sake of money. This is Art for a Cause. Behind Art, stand human values, a noble initiative that aims to promote artists and to offer a better life to Egyptian children.
As TAMEER celebrates its 67th Anniversary, we reflect on what gives meaning to our work, in this real world that is made of humans and communities. Some would say that we build walls. Behind those walls, life actually takes place every day; people’s lives, family stories, love and happiness, dreams and hopes and, in the middle of our daily tasks, beyond organization and discipline, we also invest ourselves, our values, our passion, for people and for life, for beauty and for architecture, for sustainability, to deliver spaces where people can live, love, dream and create. This is the main Value that we share with LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTES.
What are the benefits that TAMEER has received from its collaboration with LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTES?
This project reminded us about what we are and who we are. We are “Business People” and, while we dedicate our talents and hard work to achieve business success, we remember that we are People, with our own values and responsibilities toward the society. We remember that behind facts and figures, there should be passion, there should be a cause, a purpose. This is how we contribute to building a society that is human and fair.
I was amazed to see how our team engaged with this project; how the staff members adopted the cause of LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTES and offered passion and dedication in helping and supporting, before and during the exhibition. This project gave us the opportunity to promote TAMEER values within the team, naturally and by example. I hope this collaboration will become a tradition and we will be able to do more projects with PDA.
Isabelle, what would be your last word? What are the future plans of LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTES?
The feedback that we have received from our sponsors and from the visitors of the exhibition are very encouraging. We feel that LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTES brings something new to the Egyptian society through the combination of our two objectives, the promotion of Art and the support of a humanitarian Cause.
In the years to come, we will let the PDA concept evoluate based on the experiences and feedbacks received so far. We will definitely make sure that the event always fulfills the expectations of our generous donators and art lovers, the standards of our supportive sponsors and partners as well as the needs of the underprivileged communities in our beloved host country.
LE PRINTEMPS DES ARTISTE 2021 was sponsored by:
Official Partner: French Embassy in Egypt.
Gold sponsors: TAMEER, Schneider Electric, Matouk Bassiouny, SEB, Caterpillar, Best Cheese Lactalis, BEL;
Silver and bronze sponsors: Credit Agricole, Air Liquide, Dassault Aviation, Engie, ETF, L’Oréal, Premium Card, Total, Veolia, Carrefour, Arcelor Mittal, Al Ahram Beverages, Egybev Jardin du Nil, Saint Gobain.
Charity Project: Samu Social International Egypt.