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Outside the Box – Public Art in Qatar

Sat 22nd - Sun 23rd February 2020

A forum initiating conversation about art in the public realm and its role in mediating dialogue and changing perceptions of place

Venue: National Museum of Qatar and Qatar National Library, Education City, Doha, Qatar
Curated by: FutureEverything
Commissioned by: British Council
In Partnership with: Qatar Museums, Qatar Foundation

‘Outside the Box: Public Art in Qatar,’ was a public art forum initiating conversation that explored the history and present state of public art in Qatar, while sharing common ground for future collaborations and interventions in the public realm.

As our cities and homes continue to expand and develop and ever increasing pace, we live, move, work, learn, and play in environments that are fast-paced, hyper-connected and technologically driven. In a digital age, despite being more connected than ever with unprecedented access to information, we are at the same time becoming more distant from our environments, society and fellow citizens. In an era of extreme globalisation, movement and technology, what is the meaning of community, cultural diversity, and place? Can art help us make sense of a changing world and challenging times

Outside the Box – Public Art in Qatar invited participants to think about encounters with art beyond the art institution. The two-day forum included panel discussions, artists’ presentations, conversations, debates and participatory activities all exploring the meaning and role of art in ‘non-art’ domains, specifically in the context of Qatar and the Arab World. The aim of the forum was to help define and rethink art in the public realm, its audiences and role in mediating dialogue and changing perceptions of place. It also shared insights and best practice in inspiring future events and cross-sector collaboration.

The forum brought together some of the most eminent thinkers and leading practitioners in the field to share ideas and practice, with a particular focus on case studies in Qatar, UK and the MENA Region. Invited speakers presented and shared a wide range of practices, from socially engaged work and activism, public art in the digital realm to developing and commissioning art for the public realm and social responsibility.

In addition to the programme of talks, debates and presentations, the forum included participatory sessions and workshops as well as opportunities for developing new networks and forging future collaborations. The event was free to attend.

View Event Programme

Participating speakers

Abdulrahman Al Ishaq, Head of Public Art, Qatar Museums; Taghrid Choucair Vizoso, Shubbak Festival; Hiwa K, Artist; Aseel AlYaqoub, Artist; Charles Quick, Artist and Curator; Anita McKeown, SMARTlab Inclusive Design Research Centre, University College Dublin; Leon Palmer, Artist, Heinrich&Palmer; Nils Norman, Artist; Layla Ibrahim Bacha, Senior Art Specialist, Qatar Foundation; Sarah Collicott, Artscape Management Ltd; Dr Fodil Fadli, Qatar University; Marilena Koutsoukou, Muse/Lab; Sebastian Betancur-Montoya, Artist; Megan O’Shea, Contemporary Art Society; Sarah Foryame Lawler, Qatar Museums; Benedict Barbour, Qatar Museums; Nadim Karam, Artist and Architect; Fatma Al Sheibani, Artist; Priya Prakash, Design for Social Change; Laura Barlow, Senior Curator, Qatar Museums; Marco Bruno, Architect and Associate Professor, VCU; Dr Georgios Papaioannou, Associate Professor, Museum Studies, UCL; Abdullatif Al Jasmi, Director of Cultural Heritage Protection, Qatar Museums; Fatima Mohamed Fawzy M A Hassan, Msheireb Properties; Tariq Al Jaidah, Al-Jaidah Brothers; Suzy Sikorski, Christie’s Middle East; Susie Thornberry, Assistant Director, Imperial War Museums; Eng. Moza Al Harami, Design Manager, Supreme Committee for Delivery Legacy; and Larissa Buchholz, Assistant Professor, Dept of Communication Studies, North Western University.