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Posted On: 7 January 2020 05:27 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:06 pm

Programme for Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture announced!

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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Qatar Museums (QM) today joined with the French Embassy in Doha to announce a wide-ranging programme of exhibitions, festivals, bilateral exchanges, and events to be held in both nations over the next twelve months, in celebration of the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture.

Each year since 2012, Qatar Museums has collaborated with a different nation to produce a specially curated Year of Culture, promoting mutual understanding across borders while providing opportunities for the people of each nation to encounter and appreciate one another’s creativity. In this ninth annual programme, the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture builds on strong, substantial, already existing ties between the two nations to produce a series of experiences of remarkable excitement.

His Excellency Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, said “Although Qatar is always reaching out to people around the world and welcoming the world to Qatar, it is especially gratifying to us to enjoy the sustained, focused activity made possible by our Year of Culture. We are grateful to our partners in both countries for their enthusiastic cooperation in putting together the truly exceptional programme that we now announce for Qatar-France 2020. We look forward to showing the best of Qatar in France, the best of France in Qatar, and inviting the people of both nations to share their thoughts and experiences and deepen their mutual connections.”

The Honorable Franck Gellet, Ambassador of the Republic of France to the State of Qatar, said, “The Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture will continue the advances in mutual understanding, friendship and support that our nations are so proud to have achieved. In the past year alone, we exchanged visits of high-level delegations and signed seven important agreements in defense, security, higher education and culture. The dynamic bilateral trade between our nations is flourishing, having increased only recently by a remarkable 33 percent for the year, and the Institut Français du Qatar has just celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. By encompassing visual arts, music, cinema, sport, literature, and scholarly and scientific exchanges, Qatar-France 2020 will broaden these existing relationships among our people while elevating them to an even higher level.”

The Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture will be inaugurated with a grand opening ceremony at the Katara Opera House on January 10th. Marc Piollet, one of the most exciting and versatile conductors of his generation, will lead the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in a compelling programme of French classics.

In February 2020, the Palais de Tokyo will host a major contemporary art exhibition, titled Our world is Burning. The exhibition, which was co-curated and co-produced by the contemporary art center and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, will feature works by artists from Qatar and the Gulf region. Other events to be hosted in France include screenings of works from the Doha Film Institute at the Cannes International Film Festival and the Short Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand, and the presentation of Qatar Culture Week in October 2020 at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.

In March 2020, the Fire Station Garage Gallery will present the outstanding exhibition Picasso’s Studios. Dozens of works by Pablo Picasso, on exceptional loan from the Musée National Picasso in Paris, will bring the public imaginatively into the spaces where this great 20th-century artist achieved his creative breakthroughs. Mathaf will open an exhibition by Yto Barrada.

This fall, the temporary exhibition gallery of the National Museum of Qatar will host an exhibition curated by the renowned French art historian Catherine Grenier on the subject of Paris as a whirlwind of innovation in modern art, and Qatar Museums’ Gallery Al Riwaq will showcase works by the acclaimed contemporary French artist Philippe Parreno.

Further exhibitions, programmes, and events will be announced in the coming weeks and months. To view the schedule and see updates, the public is invited to visit the website: [].

Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture, sponsored by Qatar Airways, was planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and France, including the Embassy of Qatar in France, the Embassy of France in Qatar, Qatar's Ministry of Culture and Sport, Qatar Foundation, The National Tourism Council, Doha Film Institute, Qatar National Library, Katara, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and Qatar Football Association.

Cultural and artistic events for the Qatar France 2020 Year of Culture

Dates and locations



Location: Doha, DECC

Doha International Book Fair: France guest of honor. French pavilion in partnership with FNAC, Qatar National Library and the Center for National Monuments (CMN).

- Exhibitions (Enlightenment Age, rare books from Qatar National Library, virtual visit of La Conciergerie, first palace of kings of France)

- Books: coffee table books on French historical monuments and classics from the 18th century (Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot…)

- Workshops for the children

- Evening lectures


Location: Doha, Katara Opera house

Opening ceremony concert: Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, French conductor Marc Piollet and pianist Lise de la Salle. Program: French and Qatari composers


Location: Doha, QNL

Concert of French chamber music by Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (Fauré, Debussy)


Location: Doha, Msheireb museums

The Night of Ideas: a multidisciplinary debate mixing Culture and Science (theme: “Being Alive”) in cooperation with Msheireb Museums, Sidra Hospital, Hamad bin Khalifa University and Qatar Foundation. Panelists:

- Dr. Amal Mohammed Al-Malki, Founding Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hamad bin Khalifa University

- Guillian Graves, designer and teacher at French national superior school of industrial creation

- Dr. Khalid Fakhro, Director- Precision Medicine Program, Laboratory of Genomic medicine, Sidra Hospital Doha

- Marc Jones, Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies and Digital Humanities, College of Humanities and Social Science

- Patrick Walsh, Assistant Teaching Professor of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar


Location: Paris, Palais de Tokyo

Exhibition: “Our world is Burning” (group show including two Qatari artists: Bouthayna Al Muftah and Faraj Daham)


Location: Clermont-Ferrand film festival

Screenings of short films made in Qatar and supported by Doha Film institute at Clermont-Ferrand film festival


Location: Doha, Katara Opera House

Concert by Qatar Philharmonic orchestra (Ravel, “Daphnis et Chloé”)


Location: Doha, Katara Opera House

“Paris cultural magnet extraordinaire” mixed conference and concert in partnership with Qatar Music Academy. The musicians will give glimpses of major musical events that took place in Paris from the 1830 through to the middle of the 20th century


Location: Doha, Fire Station

Exhibition: “Picasso’s studios” with dozens of artworks coming from the Musée National Picasso-Paris collection


Location: Doha, Fire Station (auditorium)

Screenings of “Parade”. A film of the 1917 ballet imagined by Diaguilev and the Ballets Russes with music by Eric Satie, argument by Jean Cocteau and decors and costumes by Pablo Picasso. Reinterpreted by Europa Danse company.


Location: Doha, Mathaf

Exhibition of the Franco-Moroccan artist Yto Barrada


Location: Doha, Al Thuraya Planetarium, Katara Cultural Village

Special program: films and workshops on astronomy in partnership with Cité de l’Espace in Toulouse


Location: Doha, Museum of Islamic arts

Concert of French chamber music by Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra: “April in Paris” (Debussy & Ravel)


Location: Doha, IDAM restaurant and Museum of Islamic arts’ Library

Goût de France, a gastronomy event and exhibition. IDAM’s chef will recreate ancient recipes inspired by famous French chefs and the masterpieces of the Museum of Islamic arts’ collection. A series of French gastronomy books will also be displayed at the library.


Location: Doha, QNL

Concert of French chamber music by Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra: “Nuit française, beau soir” (Ravel & Debussy)


Location: Paris

“Women empowerment: the case of Qatar” panel discussion in partnership with HBKU and Sciences Po Paris


Location: Institut du monde arabe, Paris

Selection of films co-produced by Doha Film Institute and France at Institut du monde arabe


Location: Doha, QNL

“French illuminations”, exhibition in partnership between QNL and BNF-French National Library


Location: Doha, Qatar Green Building Council

“Cities and climate change”: conference during Qatar Sustainability Week, in partnership with Qatar Green Buildings Council


Location: Doha, QNL

Tribute to the photography: “A discovery put to the service of all: Louis Lumière”, exhibition on photography and orientalism


Location: Doha, National museum of Qatar

French Modern art exhibition curated by renowned art historian Catherine Grenier.


Location: Doha, Museum of Islamic arts

French cinema: Tribute to Agnès Varda (Doha Film Institute)

October - January

Location: Doha, Al Riwaq gallery

Exhibition of acclaimed contemporary French artist Philippe Parreno


Location: Doha, Katara

Concert: the French National Jazz Orchestra at the opening of Katara European Jazz Festival (15 musicians on stage)


Location: Doha, Katara

Ajyal festival: a selection of French short films co-curated by Clermont-Ferrand festival and Doha Film Institute


Location: Doha, QNCC (Education city)

Final concert of the year of culture, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and French conductor Christophe Rousset.

(Source: Press Release)