Launched in 2021, under the aegis of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar aims to promote the photographic work co-directed by Charlotte Cotton and Qatari photographer Khalifa Al Obaidly. An initiative that is in line with Her Excellency’s vision of what could be the post-oil economy of Qatar”, explains Charlotte Cotton who, for her part, does not wish to make this event “a festival that fights only for a semantic idea of what photography is”, because she is convinced that photography is at the same time art, documentary, photo journalism and creation.
For this new edition, the festival in question revolves around five remarkable installations that are above all based on dialogue:
– First, the group exhibition “I Am The Traveller And Also The Road”, installed at the Mathaf (the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha), undoubtedly one of the highlights of the festival. Twelve photographers who won the Sheikh Saud Al-Thani Project Award, an annual grant, in the previous edition, present beautiful projects developed over the last twelve months. Among these projects is that of Fatema Bint Ahmad Al-Doh, who has done a lot of work on the Kalash people, one of the smallest ethnic minorities in Pakistan. She takes us to a secret place and an ancient tribe”.
Among the other works to be discovered in this exhibition, those of Reem Falaknaz, Hayat Al-Sharif, Shaima Al-Tamimi, Fethi Sahraoui, Salih Basheer, Mohammed Elshamy, Rula Halawani, Abdo Shanan, some of them exhibiting for the first time.
– Doha Fashion Friday, which can be seen at Gallery 3, M7, Msheireb, is the result of an idea initiated in 2017 by Khalid Albaih and Aparna Jayakumar. We discover through the prism of fashion, hundreds of portraits of migrant workers who came to live in Qatar.
– This is also where the exhibition “A Chance to Breathe” is held, a very touching exhibition showing the works of Omal Khair, Dil Kayas and Azimul Hasson, three Rohingya photographers who are fleeing the genocide perpetrated in their country, living in the refugee camp of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Their images document the experiences of their community, and tell a story of solidarity, family and resilience, with hope for a better future.
– Then the program takes you on a tour of “My Mother’s House Lulwa”, an exhibition by Mashael Al Hejazi at the Barahat Al Jufairi Majlis that pays homage to a historic neighborhood and community in Doha, where she lived as a child. The main theme of her work is to reinvest this traditional Qatari place with the characteristics of a loving home and family.
– And finally, an immersive sound and video installation by Hadeer Omar in collaboration with Sonic Jeel, an art collective exploring hybrid media, which was inspired by the nearby Souq Waqif, and thus transformed the Al Koot Fort into a giant kaleidoscope of sensory experiences.
In summary, Tasweer’s 2023 edition is a very interesting vintage proposing a constructive dialogue between Quatari photographers, those from the West Asian region and those from North Africa, communities that are often too little highlighted. There is no doubt that Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar has many years ahead of it.
Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar 2023
15 March – 20 May 2023