Art & Photography
Doha is the backdrop for major exhibitions that delve deep into the history of art such as Modern Paris and Picasso’s Studios.
The major stars of the French contemporary art scene is also present, with exhibitions of works by Philippe Parenno, Kader Attia and Yto Barrada. During Year of Culture Qatar - France 2020, France aims to inspire this up-and-coming generation of Qatari artists with a series of exhibition leading to a rich and thoughtful exchange between the major institutions from Qatar and France.
Qatar boasts a vibrant filmmaking industry supported by powerful initiatives and institutions.
Its cooperation with French cinematographic education institutions dates back many years. In Qatar, French animated films commissioned by the Clermont-Ferrand festival are the guest of honour at the Ayjal film festival organised by Doha Film Institute (DFI). In France during Year of Culture, the DFI is showcasing a production ranging from ‘court métrages’ created in cooperation with local populations to full-length feature films.
The Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture creates a bridge between young French and Qatari designers to reinvent interiors by combining and contrasting methods, practices and traditions of the Arabian Gulf and France.
The proximity between France and Qatar is illustrated in 2020 by a hospitality programme initiated by the Arab Innovation Academy.
Ten students from Université Bretagne Sud, where teaching specialities include cyber security and data science, are offered the chance to follow a short incubation course at the Academy. The Year of Culture offers a multi-disciplinary talk at the international event “Night of Ideas.” Its theme for 2020, “Being Alive,” explores humanity’s relationship with the world and other species.
France is a cornerstone of the fashion industry, well-known for its role in the development of western and global fashion through its world-famous haute couture, its Fashion Weeks and its reputation as an incubator for exciting and creative talent. During the Qatar-France Year of Culture, centre stage is given to the theme “Future is Timeless” featuring young Qatari designers whose gaze is firmly fixed upon the future whilst also drawing inspiration from their own roots and domestic heritage.
Food & Gastronomy
For many years, the Qatari “fooding” scene has featured a distinctly French influence.
And the inspiration works in both directions, with French chefs displaying their openness to Qatari and middle Eastern gourmet traditions and flavours. In 2020, the Qatar-France Year of Culture pays tribute to this fusion cuisine, showcasing the coming together of French traditional savoir-faire and the Qatari gourmet heritage, bringing a contemporary feel to recipes from both countries and delighting the senses of the most demanding “foodies”.
Qatar draws its rich legacy from both land and sea.
The iconic dhow is more than a humble wooden boat used in past times to develop trade, fishing and pearling. In 2020, Mediterranean ports are visited by a dhow, sailed by traditional sailors to develop awareness among coastal residents and foster exchange with its crew. France’s heritage is pride of place in Qatar in 2020 at the Doha International Book Fair, under the theme of the Lumières (The Enlighteners).
Qatar and France wish to underline the crucial importance of new tech and innovation in the fostering and strengthening of economic relations between countries. The Qatar-France Year of Culture provides a backdrop for encounters and exchange between start- ups from both countries, with the goal of furthering research and the application of new technology that rises to the challenges of the future.
The sounds of the Arab world have for centuries left a lasting imprint on European music with their oriental octaves and semitones. This constant dialogue between Europe and the Arab world is explored throughout the Qatar-France Year of Culture in its programme of events.
As a major vector for emancipation and a source of inspiration and dreams of the younger generation, sport is a field in which Qatar has frequently displayed its ambition and accomplishment. While all eyes are on Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, football is not the only sport in which France and Qatar have a special and shared interest. From athletics to motorbike racing, many ties are celebrated and explored during the course of 2020.