Qatar Museums (QM) hosted yesterday the opening ceremony of ‘Where Cultures Meet: A Photographic Encounter Between Qatar and India’ as part of its annual Year of Culture programme. The exhibition at Katara – the Cultural Village will be on show until December 31 in Gallery 18.
As part of Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture, two Qatari photographers – Hamad al-Shamari and Aisha al-Sadah – travelled to the Himalayan region of Ladakh, India, for two weeks. The aim was to create an inspiring portfolio that will help foster mutual understanding and cultural relations between the two countries. Alongside it, two Qatar-based Indian photographers – Ajeesh Puthiyadath and Salim Abdulla – were selected as part of an open call to participate in the exhibition.
The exhibition presents common themes like architecture, landscape, portraits and street life both in Ladakh – a remote land tucked in the valleys among barren mountains and where communities known for their tolerant and generous manner live in peace – and in Doha, a bustling metropolis made up of century-old markets and futuristic buildings that line its waterfront.
Commenting on the exhibition, Aisha al-Attiya, head of Years of Culture at QM said: “The annual photography exhibition is an important milestone in the Years of Culture programme. It promotes an appreciation for our similarities with partner countries and celebrates the differences between our two cultures and perspectives. We hope that the trip to Ladakh will continue to inspire Hamad al-Shamari and Aisha al-Sadah for many years to come.”
Under the leadership of its chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, QM developed the “Year of Culture” initiative — an annual international cultural exchange programme designed to deepen understanding between nations and their people. Though the formal programming lasts only one year, the initiative often sparks long-lasting collaboration. Previous years of culture include: Qatar-Japan 2012, Qatar-UK 2013, Qatar-Brazil 2014, Qatar-Turkey 2015, Qatar-China 2016, Qatar-Germany 2017 and Qatar-Russia 2018.