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QFI students at the Unveiling Qatar-Hidden Thoughts exhibition.
DOHA: Contemporary artworks by Qatari artists Amal Al Aathem and Yousef Ahmad are being featured for the first time in a Los Angeles-based art gallery in an exhibition titled ‘Unveiling Qatar–Hidden Thoughts.’
The exhibition is curated by Marisa Caicholo, presented by the ADC & Building Bridges International Art Exchange (ADC) in Santa Monica, California, and supported by Qatar Foundation International (QFI). This week, QFI students from Los Angeles-based partner schools joined the exhibition organisers for a day of art workshops at Unveiling Qatar.
It explores the underlying expressions of culture within artwork. Amal and Yousef reveal culture through their artworks by using hidden expressions and Arabic calligraphy, respectively. In workshops organised by ADC, high school students from QFI partner schools will learn more about the meaning behind the artworks and how to employ various techniques to express their own identity and culture.
The workshops will prepare students for an educational programme in Qatar from March 22 to 31 called Aber: Expressions of Culture, Identity and Language, organised by QFI. The trip will see the students participate in an Arabic language curriculum and work on a collaborative, cross-cultural artwork with their Qatari peers. Aber is an Arabic word, which means to express one’s feelings and thoughts, or to move across from one side to the other.
During the trip, the students, along with their Qatari peers, will embark on a journey of learning, gaining critical skills in cross-cultural communication and the opportunity to enhance their world views. They will learn about their different cultures and will examine their own perspectives through daily interactions, educational activities, and cultural excursions.
With the facilitation of Los Angeles-based professional artist and photographer, Cynthia Herrera, the students will create a collaborative, contemporary artwork that integrates themes of language, culture and identity. The finished pieces will be featured in an exhibit at the Qatar Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf) as well as a later event in Los Angeles.
“This project creates a space for dialogue about language, identity and culture among youth,” said Herrera. “The hope is that through youth collaboration, we will be able to represent not only culture and community, but also create lasting ties.”