DOHA: The ‘Qatar Brazil: A Journey from the Amazon to the Desert’ photography exhibition opened yesterday at Qatar Photographic Society (QPS) gallery in Katara Building 18, featuring stunning photos taken by Qatari and Brazilian photographers during a cultural exchange programme.
One of the highlights of the Qatar Brazil 2014 Year of Culture organised by Qatar Museums (QM), the expo showcases 47 of the best photos taken by Aref Al Ammari, Abdullah Al Tamimi, Andre Joaquim and Leonardo Wen.
“The photos express the essence of this year as seen by Qatari and Brazilian photographers.
“They will give a general idea which will encourage Qataris to visit Brazil and Brazilians to visit Qatar,” said the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari during the opening of the expo.
In collaboration with QPS and the ministry and sponsored by Qatar Petroleum International and Qatar Shell, Qatar Brazil 2014 sent two Qatari photographers from QPS on a two-week expedition across Brazil to photograph its landscapes, people, food, culture, and touristic highlights.
Two Brazilian photographers were invited to Qatar to journey across the Arabian Peninsula to experience its history, people, tradition, food and culture.
The Qataris explored Brazil visiting the state of Minas Gerais with its colourful markets and historical squares as well as picturesque towns and villages, capturing colonial landmarks, scenic views, iconic buildings and the street life.
“My best moment was on the first day when we went to the local market because the people were so kind and welcoming. Visiting the local people at old villages, we saw how simple their life was, yet they were very happy and didn’t mind us photographing them,” said Al Tamimi.
They also navigated the Amazon River by boat and stepped into the world of favelas and the unique urban landscape of the cultural capital Rio de Janeiro.
“There are many differences between our two nations, yet I found many similarities. It’s amazing how far apart we are yet so close to each other,” said Al Ammari.
In Qatar, the Brazilians visited Al Zubara Fort, Al Areesh, a fishing village, Souq Waqif and Zikreet and witnessed the new Richard Serra installation ‘East West – West east. “Spending the night in the desert in Zikreet made a real impact on me. Qatar is a special place on earth; its people, urban and natural landscape, religion, light and energy make it a unique place for any photographer,” said Wen.
The duo also visited Museum of Islamic Art, Corniche, Katara, the Grand Mosque and Khor Al Udaid.
“I learned more about photography, especially light painting photography, with my new friends. I also learned a lot about Islam as a religion and Islamic art and culture. It’s really great to see that even in the modern and globalised world, some traditions are still respected and honoured,” said Joaquim.
Mansour Al Mahmoud, Acting CEO, QM, said: “The Years of Culture initiative is all about bringing people together, exchanging cultures and celebrating our shared humanity. Qatar Brazil 2014 has achieved all of these objectives through this fantastic exhibition that I am sure will touch people from Qatar, Brazil and beyond.”
The expo runs until June 30.