The newly-launched Tasweer photography festival announced this week the open call for the inaugural Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Project and Single Image Awards.

The annual open call awards, supported by Qatar Museums and its chair, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa Al Thani, aim to recognise and support photographers from Western Asia and North Africa.

According to HE Sheikha Mayassa, with photography being part of our daily lives, we have to embrace this visual arts and support discussion and experimentation in the field.

Tasweer Qatar Photo Festival is where we will organise exhibitions, installations, workshops, discussions, and where we will advance working practices, bolster community, and expand resources for photographers.

The awards are named in honour of the late collector Sheikh Saoud Al Thani, who served as chairman of Qatar’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage from 1997 until 2005, and created the Al Thani Award for Photography in 2000. Sheikh Saoud Al Thani’s remarkable achievements are the subject of the exhibition, A Falcon’s Eye: Tribute to Sheikh Saoud Al Thani, currently open for public viewing at the Museum of Islamic Art.

Tasweer Founding Director Khalifa Ahmad Al Obaidly said the Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Awards are in the heart and soul of Tasweer’s celebration of photographers and photographic communities in the region.

We hope that everyone who communicate their experiences and observations through photography submit their images to the awards’ open calls and help us create resources for – and internationally spread more knowledge about – the calibre and vitality of local and regional photography.

The Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Project Award is a grant award of QAR30,000 per awardee to support the initiation, further development or completion of a photographic project in 2021. The project award is an annual, open call award for photographers in Western Asia and North Africa. Project Award submissions will close on 24 November 2020.

Meanwhile, the Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Single Image Award is an annual award open to photographers of all ages and degrees of experience who resides in Western Asia and North Africa. The open call closes on 8 November 2020.

The 2021 Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Single Image Award guest jurors – the photography collective Photo Art Qatar – will select the winning single images and curate a group online exhibition, night time, outdoor projection and screen-based experiences. Photo Art Qatar will work with Tasweer team, and curate a free magazine dedicated to Tasweer 2021 and the Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Awards.

Realising Qatar’s capacity to host innovative ideas in photography, Tasweer will build on Qatar Museums’ commitment to nurture artistic talent, develop future generations of arts and heritage professionals, and encourage the nation’s burgeoning arts economy.

For more information about the Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Awards and the open call submission processes, visit Tasweer.Qa.