The 2022 FIFA World Cup provides an opportunity to showcase the diversity and rich heritage of Qatar and the Arab world, featuring an array of cultural events and exhibitions planned in the past 10 years since winning the bid in 2010, Qatar Museums (QM) chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has said.
“These are very interesting exhibitions about the Arab world that we're showing for the first time and I’d love to share that with the audience whenever it’s appropriate,” she told on Wednesday the Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg.
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa, also the chairperson of Doha Film Institute, Reach Out to Asia, and Qatar Leadership Centre, said these shows are set to open before the prestigious tournament and will run until the end of March and beginning of April 2023. Several public artworks have also been installed at various locations in the country.
As part of the Qatar – Menasa (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) Year of Culture 2022, the exhibitions mark the programme’s 10th anniversary and underline its keenness to welcome the world for the World Cup.
Apart from museums in Europe and the US, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said QM also partnered with the Baghdad museum for an upcoming exhibition, about the 500 years reign of “the Abbasid Empire when Baghdad was the capital of the Islamic world.”
She cited the upcoming reopening of the Museum of Islamic Art, which will feature “works that have never been seen before,” and an exhibition at Lusail museum, which “talks about orientalist paintings and design with objects that only Qatar has”.
“We're having an exhibition of the world of football, opening at the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, that talks about football players who represented other nations around the world,” she said.
Other exhibitions in the pipeline include Al Jazeera’s 25th-anniversary celebration, Valentino, and another show in collaboration with a Palestinian museum.
The National Museum of Qatar is hosting an exhibition about Qatar’s future car museum, in addition to Pipilotti Rist’s installation. An upcoming exhibition on nomadic tents, which connects the region of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, serves as a highlight of QM’s programme.
Besides unique cultural experiences and offerings, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said visitors will also get to see a heritage village and a new installation in the desert.
“People do not want to go to countries and see the same thing everywhere, they want to visit and go for unique experiences and that's exactly what we’re offering during the World Cup.
“The World Cup is a great opportunity to celebrate people and celebrate our differences and bring people together to have conversations,” she said.
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa underscored the key role that technology plays in the creative and cultural space, particularly in running the museums and their programmes.
“The National Museum is really a good example of that. When we had the building we realised the walls are very complicated, there are no straight walls inside the museum so we combined technology with the artefacts and storytelling using the walls to project films, but also understanding how the visitor can pass through and not be disturbed by the films that will continue in the galleries.
“The Sports Museum (3-2-1) is also a good example, we've actually borrowed many objects from around the world for the museum whether it’s from the US or Europe or other parts of Asia and we use technology to connect with the audiences and engage with them.
“The future children's museum will also have the technology. Ooredoo is a major partner, we're very grateful for all of the work that they've done with us they've been a strategic partner.
“At the Jeff Koons, we had a collaboration with Ooredoo and Snapshot where you could have a Jeff Koons in your living room,” HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said, noting that they are currently looking at other collaborations with their upcoming exhibitions.
“Many people have come to us for the metal verse and the NFTs’ and obviously these are conversations that we're continuing to have.”
Citing M7, an incubation between Qatar Development Bank and QM aimed at supporting entrepreneurs, she said incorporating the creative economy as element of QM’s initiatives forms a key part of the projects they do.
Just last week, she said a private company tapped two Qatari designers in producing furniture who will now have a permanent showroom in Milan. Also last week, the World Cup poster was launched and it's a Qatari designer who did well with her art. “Now she's represented in collections around the world and major museums.”