The Goethe Medal is considered Germany's most important award when it comes to their foreign cultural policy.
Prolific Egyptian artist Mohamed Abla has been recognised with Germany's prestigious Goethe Medal, an official national decoration from the Goethe-Institut to honour public figures who are responsible for outstanding cultural exchange on the international stage. It is considered Germany's most important award when it comes to their foreign cultural policy.
Born in 1953 in Belqas, Mohamed Abla studied fine art in Alexandria before developing his career in Europe, where he held his first solo exhibition in Walsrode's Hohmann Gallery in 1979. Since then he's won several awards, including first prize at the Kuwait Biennale in 1994 and the Grand Prix of the Alexandria Biennale in Egypt. Abla has also served as a teacher in many international institutions, before founding the Fayoum Art Center in 2007. He opened the MENA region's first caricature museum in 2009, and was part of the Committee of 50 that wrote Egypt's new constitution shortly afterwards.
According to the award statement, Abla is recognised as a mediator between Egypt and Europe, with a strong belief in artists' social responsibility. His work commonly deals with realistic depictions of contemporary scenes, or abstract portrayals of Egyptian society. His use of multimedia has been cited as a tremendous source of storytelling, particularly when it comes to conveying folk tales and cultural ideas through calligraphy, collage, sculpture, and traditional Middle Eastern art methods.