Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar 2023
The biennial Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar has officially inaugurated its 2023 edition. The biennial festival brings together innovative photographers and photographic communities from Qatar and the Western Asia and North Africa (WANA) region. Tasweer opened five exhibitions: Doha Fashion Fridays and A Chance To Breathe exhibitions at M7, Qatar’s epicenter for innovation and entrepreneurship in design, fashion, and tech; Hadeer Omar: And Thereafter immersive installation at Al Koot Fort; Mashael Al Hejazi: My Mother Lulwa’s House installation at Majlis Barahat Al Jufairi; and I Am The Traveler And Also The Road at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha. The exhibitions and installations are on view from 15 March through 20 May 2023.
At M7, Doha Fashion Fridays presents a unique collaborative project, initiated in 2017 on Instagram by artists Khalid Albaih and Aparna Jayakumar, in which migrant workers in Qatar are photographed and interviewed on Fridays, their day of rest. Using fashion as a lens, the project tells narratives about the diverse migrant population that has come to Qatar with dreams and aspirations.
The second exhibition at M7, A Chance To Breathe, presents the work of three Rohingya refugees — Azimul Hasson, Dil Kayas, and Omal Khair — who have documented their personal experience inside Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the largest refugee camp in the world. Doha Debates teamed up with the human rights organisation Fortify Rights in 2019 to train and support the three artists. A 23-minute documentary film, titled “EXODUS, 2022”, produced by Doha Debates will be presented alongside the exhibition. The fellowships will continue over the course of Tasweer 2023, as the artists photograph inside Cox’s Bazaar during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr in collaboration with Doha Fashion Fridays’ Aparna Jayakumar and Shaima Al-Tamimi. The images will be added to the presentation of A Chance to Breathe throughout its run, in dialogue with the Doha Fashion Fridays exhibition, which is also being presented at M7.
At Al Koot Fort, on the edge of Souq Waqif, And Thereafter presents an immersive installation by Qatar-resident artist Hadeer Omar in collaboration with Sonic Jeel, an artistic collective exploring hybrid-media, initiated by Michael Hersrud, Simone Muscolino, and multidisciplinary designer Katia Kolovea. For this site-specific installation, Omar drew upon the surrounding areas of Souq Waqif as sources of inspiration, weaving together traditional and contemporary aspects of daily life, translating and transforming them into surreal immersive environments. She creates a heightened sense of the myriad sensory experiences in the souq through captured images and sounds, all uniquely choreographed in the designated spaces of the fort.
At Majlis Barahat Al Jufairi, My Mother Lulwa’s House presents an installation by Qatari artist Mashael Al Hejazi that honours the social and architectural character of this historic district of Doha and the collective memories and narratives of the Al Baraha community, where she had lived during her childhood. The overarching theme of her work is to re-inhabit this traditional Qatari place with the characteristics of a loving home and family, interwoven through the connecting spaces of the majlis, the mother’s room, and the liwan (courtyard).
I Am The Traveler And Also The Road is an exhibition featuring the unique photographic approaches of the recipients in 2021 and 2022 of Tasweer’s Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Project Award grants who live in the WANA region. The work of Tasweer’s twelve grant award winners will be exhibited from 16 March to 20 May 2023 at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha. I Am The Traveler And Also The Road presents the work of Rula Halawani (Palestine), Mona Hassan (Egypt), Mohammed Elshamy (Qatar), Shaima Al-Tamimi (Qatar), Samar Sayed Baiomy (Egypt), and Hayat Al-Sharif (Yemen), Fethi Sahroui (Algeria), Salih Basheer (Sudan), Fatema A M Al-Doh (Qatar), Reem Falaknaz (Oman), Mouneb Nassar (Syria), and Abdo Shanan (Algeria). Complementing the presentation at Mathaf, the Qatar National Convention Centre will host a pop-up version of the I Am The Traveler And Also The Road exhibition at QNCC on 18 and 19 March 2023, during TEDinArabic (بالعربي TED), a joint initiative with TED and Qatar Foundation.
Tasweer’s Managing Director, Khalifa Al Obaidly said, “The Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Awards programmes actively seek out and showcase the most modern, diverse, and talented photographers in the region, both established and up-and-coming. We have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to display the exceptional bodies of work produced by our grant award winners from 2021 and 2022 on the walls of the prestigious Mathaf gallery. I Am The Traveler And Also The Road is a powerful testament to the ability of photography to transcend cultural and linguistic barriers, and connect us all through the shared experiences that make us human. We are proud to be part of a movement that celebrates and promotes the artistic talent of our region, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for these innovative photographers”.
The 2023 Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar (17 March – 20 May 2023) is the second biennial programme of exhibitions, awards, commissions, collaborations, presentations and workshops that amplify diverse practices and dialogues of photographers and photographic communities in Qatar and the Western Asia and North Africa (WANA) region.
Established by Qatar Museums under the leadership of its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and supported by the Social & Sport Contribution Fund (Daam), Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar is being developed as a focal point for the personal and professional creative growth of photographers and image-makers in the region. building on Qatar Museum’s commitment to nurture artistic talent, develop Qatar’s arts economy and support creative industry.
Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar 2023
Location: Qatar Museums Gallery
Duration: March 14 – May 20 2023