On the occasion of Africa 2017 Forum, organized by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and the COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA), Peacock was commissioned to organize a photographic exhibition and an art installation.
The conglomeration of artists from various African nations resulted in a compilation of stories from both the African continent and its diaspora, while selected photographers expressed through their artwork the aesthetic lines and vivid colors of a continent known for its natural beauty. The photographs also highlighted the visible transformations that took place within the last century, and which spurred countries into a new era of independence, each one reflecting the radiance of Africa in a unique way.
This exhibition aimed at illustrating the new face of Africa while simultaneously challenging outdated views, and allowing room for a new identity to be forged, one coherent with the times we live in today.
Along with the exhibition Peacock for Art, commissioned artist Ahmed Askalany to create the Majestic “Baobab”, standing 5m tall and 3m wide, as an emblem of the Africa 2017 Forum. Also known as the Tree of Life, the ‘Baobab’ is a symbol of giving, of prosperity and life, of memory and of survival, foreshadowing the potential outcomes of the conference. “Born in 1978, Askalany makes connections with traditional materials and craft methods associated with the ancient cultures of Egypt. His subjects include human figures and animals inspired by his native town and characterized with a preserved aura. His famous palm leaves sculptures are produced with ancient techniques, similar to hair weaving, using natural colored palm leaves. Askalany’s philosophy is Simplicity: a way to convey the idea directly to the viewer without going into detail.”