An exhibition of cartoon artists was launched at the Spanish Cultural Center within the activities of World Book Day

By Manal Abdel Fattah

As part of its celebration of World Book Day, the Cervantes Institute in Cairo, the Spanish Cultural Center, opened on Monday, April 22, an exhibition entitled “Drawing Literature: Writers and Caricatures.”

The exhibition includes 50 paintings and caricatures by Miguel de Cervantes, Naguib Mahfouz, Gabriel García Márquez, and other famous international writers, drawn by artists from Egypt, Spain, Latin America, and Europe.
The exhibition will be open to the public for free until next May 12 at the Cervantes Institute headquarters in Cairo from Sunday to Thursday from 10:30 am to 4 pm.

The exhibition also coincided with Cervantes’ celebration of World Book Day, Tuesday, April 23, which this year is dedicated to the Inca figure Garcilaso de La Beija, in recognition and honor of the writer and historian who died on April 23, 1616.

The celebration activities included a number of cultural activities that were available to the general public from 3 pm to 9 pm on Tuesday.

The exhibition is held in cooperation with the Federation of International Cartoonists Organizations (FICO) in Egypt, and the Quebedo Institute for Humor Arts at the University of Alcalá (Spain).

The works were selected in cooperation with the artist Fawzi Morsi, Secretary-General of the Egyptian Cartoon Society.

For his part, José Manuel El Babestor, Director of the Cervantes Institute, said: “Cervantes is proud to host the distinguished exhibition, coinciding with our celebration of World Book Day and Cervantes Week, in which we can see Cervantes wearing augmented reality glasses, the author of Don Quixote himself, and William Shakespeare exchanging readings.

Naguib Mahfouz and García Márquez take a selfie next to the titles of their most famous works… These are imaginary scenes, but they were embodied in reality by a number of cartoonists in Egypt, Spain, Latin America and Europe.”

He added: “Cervantes, in cooperation with his active partners in the cultural arena, is keen to organize and host various events that will bring about cultural rapprochement and enhance expression and dialogue.”

He continued: “This year we chose to celebrate World Book Day through the art of caricature, which throughout the ages represents a vital means of artistic and critical expression and is closely linked to current events.

Caricature can also work to amplify and highlight the features of the person being depicted, thereby emphasizing his uniqueness and importance.”

As an art in presenting a new and different perspective that brings us closer to the image and works of the character, inspired by old portraits, modern photographs, or inspired by their imagination, the arts unleashed their creativity to present us with a gallery of interesting and emotional images.

He pointed out that far from the usual traditional and static poses, our favorite authors gain new life and modernity thanks to the brush of these great artists from 16 different countries.

It is worth noting that April 23 was chosen as “World Book and Copyright Day” because it coincides with the anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cerbates, William Shakespeare, and the Inca Garcilaso de la Beja on that day in 1616.

It also coincides with the anniversary of the birth or death of other great authors in literature, such as Vladimir Nabokov, the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth, the Icelandic Nobel Prize winner Halldur Laxness, and the French writer and Minister of Culture in his country, Maurice Dron.

Or the Catalan writer and journalist Josep Pla.
Moreover, April 23 is also United Nations Spanish Language Day.

In Spain, the Cervantes Prize, the most important award for literature in the Spanish language, is also awarded on April 23 of each year.

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