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BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: The Ecuadorian Embassy and Katara yesterday opened a twin photo exhibition showcasing the rich biodiversity and culture of Ecuador captured on lens by two renowned Ecuadorian photographers.
Fifty-one black-and-white photos of breathtaking landscapes and the abundant flora and fauna of Galapagos Islands are featured at the “Galapagos Surreal Exhibition” by New-York based Ecuadorian photographer Fernando Espinosa Chauvín.
Iguanas, penguins, albatrosses, sea lions, turtles, flamingos and blue-footed boobies found on the islands famed for their vast number of endemic species, which were studied by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle, were among those in the photos which are contained in a book by Chauvin.
“Animals in Galapagos Islands are not afraid of people, the islands are just magical and that’s what I tried to capture; that’s why the photos are in black and white. I tried to remove the distraction of colours and focus on the composition and appreciate the whole thing not just the little details,” Chauvín told The Peninsula.
It took him 12 visits which lasted more than two years to take all the photos and record the natural sounds which are being played at the expo creating a realistic feel of the Islands and their inhabitants.
The other expo, ‘Sons of the sacred waterfalls’ by Nicolas Kingman, was a result of more than three years of labour by the photographer and has awaken great interest, particularly about Shuar, an indigenous people of Ecuador.
“Ecuador is a diverse country with 27 ethnic groups including 13 indigenous people. This diversity is the source of socio-economic and political wealth necessary for the development of the country,” said Ecuadorian Ambassador Kabalan Abisaab, adding all the ethnic groups live in harmony despite diversity.
The exhibition, the Ambassador said, is the start of strengthening Ecuador’s relations with Qatar as well as other Gulf countries in various sectors.
“We have chosen to start with a cultural event because culture is the basis of national identity,” said the Ambassador, adding they want to bolster bilateral relations in other spheres such as agriculture, tourism and investment.
“We are delighted to present these stunning exhibitions which allow art fans to experience the Ecuadorian nature and cultural values. Katara has continued to support and develop local talents by providing them with a platform to showcase their artistic abilities and enhance creative engagement,” said Abdulrahman Al Khulaifi, President of Katara.
Dr Khalid Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara said: “The exhibitions promote artistic and cultural values of Ecuador and their aim of protecting the environment and habitat of the people.
“The exhibitions further demonstrate Katara’s commitment to showcase different cultures while embracing the emerging global culture.”
The expo was opened by Mubarak bin Nasser Al Khalifa, Secretary General of Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage.
It will run until January 5 at Katara Galleries 1 and 2, Building 13. The Peninsula