Highly anticipated “Skate Girls of Kabul” exhibition rolls into QM Gallery Katara

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Qatar Museums (QM) today opens a major show by acclaimed British photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson. Presented by QM under the leadership of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Skate Girls of Kabul will be on show at the QM Gallery in Katara from 20th July – 21st October 2017.

The portraits tell the extraordinary story of Afghani girls between the ages of five and 25 using skateboards as a unique means of transportation to attend school, thanks to Skateistan, an award-winning international nonprofit organisation empowering youth and children through skateboarding and education.

The Doha showing of the photo series will be its first appearance in the Middle East and expectations are high for its success. The hopeful and tenacious spirit of the exhibition is meant to resonate with the local community and echo QM’s mission of inspiring education through creative approaches.

Commenting on the exhibition, Khalid Al-Ibrahim, Chief Strategic Planning Office at Qatar Museums said:

“The Skate Girls of Kabul opening night event was a true reflection of the spirit of the show. The photographs emitted a sense of hopefulness and perseverance, reaching out into the audience to grab the guests’ attention with their subjects’ determined gazes. This powerful show is yet another example of Qatar Museums’ focus on bringing high-profile exhibitions to Qatar with the aim of inspiring an indigenous culture of creativity and innovation.”

Photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson, said:

I first met these girls in 2012 and knew their story had to be told. It was their determination, and the unique way in which they created a skating culture entirely their own, that kept me coming back to the skate park day after day to capture this pocket of hope. It’s hard to put into words how captivating this young skateboarding community was to be around but I hope that’s precisely what the photographs will show. That’s why I chose to work with natural light and in the original setting of the skate park, letting these girls’ personalities shine through the images. I hope the photo series captures their joy of skating, their individuality and the unique community they built around their shared experiences.”

Alongside the exhibition, QM has constructed a skating ramp that is located inside the gallery space. Exhibition guests will be able to try their hand at skateboarding by using skateboards and helmets that will be made available to visitors.

A robust education programme was also launched to complement the Skate Girls of Kabul exhibition, including summer camps, school visits and a series of community workshops that will allow participants to engage in art making in new and unexpected ways. For example, one community workshop will allow participants to use skateboards as paint brushes to create beautiful imagery, while another will allow guests to design and decorate their own skateboard. A more in-depth workshop will also ask participants to build characters out of clay based on the exhibited Skate Girls of Kabul photos, which will be used to create a short animation.

More information will be available on the QM website and announced through QM’s social media channels.

For more information on the exhibition and upcoming activities, please visit: http://www.qm.org.qa/en

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