Qatar has the platform to support creative talents, making the country “a very attractive hub” for artists, designers and filmmakers, Qatar Museums (QM) Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has said.
“In everything that we do, in all of our projects, we're really trying to incorporate the creative economy as elements of our initiatives,” she said recently at the Qatar Economic Forum (QEF), Powered by Bloomberg.
Titled 'The Role of Sport in the Game of Life', the talk put a spotlight on the importance of sports and culture as a driving force for economic growth, community development, and people-to-people diplomacy.
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa underlined the resilience and determination of Qatari artists who initially faced challenges and now inspire others and play a key role in the country’s creative economy.
“Two weeks ago, Shouq Almana installed a new installation of the Arabic *egal … she’s an artist who we discovered on Instagram during the blockade, and she was a very patriotic artist,” she said.
"She created amazing paintings and so for the very first time, her paintings are now translated in sculpture,” HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said, adding that Al Hosh Gallery in Qatar is not only supporting a lot of young designers but also continues to make innovations.
She noted that the Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition, held in May, witnessed the collaboration between jewellery designers and artists, which attracted many people to buy their collections.
“It is growing gradually, but in every industry, if you want film, if you want fashion, we have the platform to support them, and (we have) the museums and the collections to inspire them, so Qatar becomes a very attractive hub,” HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said.
Citing some of her challenges, the QM Chairperson, also the Chairperson of the Doha Film Institute (DFI), Reach Out to Asia and Qatar Leadership Centre, said: “I think our biggest challenge was – I don't think it's as big of a challenge today as it was – for people to understand and realise that culture is not a hobbyist job … many artists that we initially supported had to have a full-time job to support themselves.”
“Today that has changed … many of these artists, by becoming successful whether it's in film, fashion, design, have been able to stand on their own feet, thanks to the support of all of the different artists that are here,” HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said. “I think that was a challenge initially because culture or museums in the past was looked at as a form of entertainment, when actual fact it's a key component for a knowledge-based economy.”
She noted that some Qatar Museums programmes included the training of teachers on how to use the museum and the various subjects they require to teach in schools, as well as “to align the skills that children need today for their future professions”.
“So that was a challenge initially, but to be honest, whenever we explain what we're doing and how we're doing it, the reception we've been getting has been very, very positive,” HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said.
In her takeaway message at the talk and vis-a-vis the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup, she said: “We’re open to the world, and we want the world to be embracing and respectful to our cultures, and understand the roots of our tradition and why we do certain things the way we do and they are open for a conversation.”