To mark the Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture, Qatar Museums (QM) and Caravane Earth – an international movement for social, cultural and ecological transformation – are jointly presenting a new initiative to celebrate sustainability, heritage, and traditional craftsmanship.

From 11 to 13 December, the Museum of Islamic (MIA) will showcase a curated selection of contemporary Indian fashion and textiles. A symposium featuring notable speakers from the fashion industry, sustainability activists, and cultural institutions from India and Qatar will also be held, along with a film screening by the Doha Film Institute.

The symposium, which will take place on 12 December at MIA from 10 am to 3 pm, is open to the public, free of charge. It will be moderated by Bandana Tewari, sustainability activist and former Vogue India Editor at Large. The symposium will focus on themes which will cover the history of Abaya and traditional Qatari wear, building a sustainable global brand, and the textile heritage of Qatar and India. Speakers include Tania Al Majid, Associate Curator at the National Museum of Qatar; Pavitra Muddaya, Head of Vimor Foundation; and Director of Education at Qatar Museums, Dr Jelena Trkulja.

Participating fashion and textile brands include: 11.11/eleven eleven, Injiri, Khanijo, James Ferreira, Ode to Odd, Maku Textiles, Three, Urvashi Kaur, Chola, Vimor Handloom Foundation. Participating artisans include: PL Bhanumurthy for Vimor Foundation, Renuka Jalan for Chola, Taslim for Ode to Odd, Moideen Hizqeel for 11.11, Dinesh Vankar for Injiri, Taj Mohamed for Urvashi Kaur, Irshad Annad for Khanijo.

According to Aisha Al Attiya, Head of Years of Culture at QM, the modern fashion industry began in the 19th century and has continued to grow since then.

Today, it is interlinked with some of the key issues that face our world – particularly climate change and sustainability. The textile industry, specifically, has also played a key role in building bridges between civilisations across the ages. As such, it was important for us to include this theme in this edition of the Year of Culture programme. We look forward to welcoming the community at what is set to be an enriching three-day programme.’

Marielou Phillips from Caravane Earth, said they are proud to partner with Qatar Museums, adding that supporting true craft is one of the most empowering sustainability strategies today.

Earlier this year, Qatar Museums presented ‘X-Ray Fashion’, a virtual reality film on the inner workings of the fashion industry – known as the world’s second largest polluter. The initiative was meant to raise awareness about an unknown side of the industry.