The Qatar Turkey 2015: Year of Culture continues to build on a legacy of connecting people through cultural activities in launching its photographic exchange. Following last year’s successful photographic exchange “Qatar Brazil: A Journey from the Amazon to the Desert”, Qatar Turkey 2015 launches its programme by welcoming two Turkish photographers in Qatar. Later in the month, two Qatari photographers will begin their expedition in Turkey to photograph its landscapes and people.
The aim of the exchange programme is to capture the essence of Qatar through Turkish eyes and the essence of Turkey through Qatari eyes. In fall 2015 their journeys will be showcased in an exhibition in Qatar. This unique opportunity for photographers to participate in Qatar Turkey 2015: Year of Culture and offer their visual interpretation on the people of both nations is organized in collaboration with the Qatar Photographic Society (QPS) and the Ministries of Culture from Qatar and Turkey, and with the support of platinum sponsor Exxon Mobil, Hospitality Sponsor W Doha Hotel and Official Airline Qatar Airways.
Beginning on May 10, Qatar will welcome two Turkish photographers: Prof. Ali Muhammet Bay and Hasan Yelken. A graduate from Dokuz Eylul University, Faculty of Fine Arts, postgraduate from Savannah College of Art and Design (MFA degree on photography), and doctorate from Ankara University Ali Muhammet Bayraktaroglu still works as an academic and Faculty Dean, sharing with his students his love for Fine Arts and specifically photography. He is a member of GAFSAD and IFSAD photography societies. His work mainly focuses on alternative photography techniques and social documentary.
Hasan Yelkenis a dentist. The beauties he came across during his travels inspired him to take up photography. In 1995, he became a member of the Gaziantep Association of Art Photography where he went on to become chairman of the board of directors from 1998 to 2006. He taught Basic Photography in Gaziantep University and has a book on “Flowers of Gaziantep”. He is a member of the publication board for an arts and culture magazine called “Ayıntap” published in Gaziantep where he also he writes travel articles. Since becoming a photographer, Hasan has become more environmentally- conscious. He believes that photographers should be a witness to change in our rapidly changing society and should document the world around them.
Ali and Hasan will embark on their journey of discovery by touring Doha: from Old Doha and vibrant Souq Waqif to walking along the Doha Corniche where they will appreciate the unique Doha city skyline and its iconic Museum of Islamic Art. In the following days, they will be heading to Al Shamal in the north, where they will have their first taste of Qatari history with a visit to Al Zubara fort. They will be able to see one of the largest and best preserved examples of an 18th-19th century Gulf merchant town. The team will also visit Zikreet where they will witness the Richard Serra installation “East West – West east”. And they can’t leave Qatar without dune-bashing all the way to Khor Al Adaid on an exhilarating Inland Sea desert trek!
Later in the month, two Qatari photographers will start their exploration of Turkey, from the cities of Istanbul and Ankara to remote Anatolian villages. They will have the opportunity to learn more about the Turkish people and capture in images their rich culture and history.
Reflecting on this exchange programme, Safiya al Hajari, Director of the Office of Strategic Cultural Relations in Qatar Museums said: “Both countries are home to rich and diverse cultural practices. The aim for such a cultural exchange is to capture both Turkish and Qatari cultural identities through the artistic expression of photographers. Such an exchange is at the heart of Qatar Turkey 2015: Year of Culture mission”.
ExxonMobil Qatar and Qatar Museums share a long-term relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. The company is proudly supporting Qatar Turkey Year of Culture as its Platinum Sponsor as an important initiative, which will fundamentally lead to a deeper international understanding of Qatar and its rich culture, and highlight it as a world-class center for business and cultural activities. Qatar- Turkey 2015 year of culture is also supported by Qatar Airways as official Airline, and W- Hotel as hospitality Sponsor.
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