Qatar Foundation and Partners: Bringing Art and Sustainability in Public Spaces
The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) unveiled a photography series – Using the Used: A Reflection of the Future of Our City – at the Msheireb Metro Station in Doha, featuring images taken by young students in Qatar.
Created through a collaboration between WISE – an initiative of Qatar Foundation – Qatar Rail, Photo Art Qatar (PA.Qatar), and Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar), the project aims to encourage young people to explore sustainability using photography, and transform public spaces as medium of civic participation.
Farah Abel, Learning Ecoystems Policy Associate at WISE, said it is important to tap into the collective intelligence of the community and invite them to actively participate in reimagining public spaces as an opportunity for learning and creativity.
The photography exhibition at Msheireb Metro Station is an example of how we, at WISE, are striving to create young champions of thought-leadership who can creatively engage in social topics in public forums.
The photography series is part of Doha Learning Days (DLD), a week-long WISE initiative that takes place annually and which aims to encourage the youth to become active community members through meaningful activities co-curated in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
This year’s programme focused on the municipality of Al Wakra, with the city serving as canvas for the photography workshops facilitated by PA.Qatar, and which also featured environmental experts and advocates Reem Al Sahlawi and Abdulla Alqatami, leveraging various efforts done locally that crosses over art, sustainability and public space.
The exhibition also features outputs from a workshop jointly conducted by VCUarts Qatar, WISE, and Qatar Academy Al Wakra (QAW). The session saw nine fashion design senior students from VCUarts Qatar mentor groups of school students from QAW to repurpose material found in their homes and create new objects, such as masks and face-shields, stationary holders, a miniature dark room, notebooks, shoe-box homes for pets and toys, indoor green houses, and a miniature foosball table.
Qatar Rail, as strategic partner, played an important role in supporting the objective of leveraging public spaces to promote civic engagement around art and social topics, especially sustainability. The Doha Metro was designed with sustainability in mind – from society, to the economy, to the environment – and strives to support national objectives.