Katara, Cultural Village kick started Qatar UK 2013 with the opening
of Encounter: The Royal Academy in the Middle East and The Witness, an exhibition by Naji Al
Ali & Hani Mazhar on December 6, 2012 at 7pm. Qatar UK 2013 commemorates a long lasting
diplomatic relationship through a series of cultural events which aim to raise awareness of the
cultures of each country.
Katara jointly collaborated with The Royal Academy of Arts to co-curate Encounter: The Royal
Academy in the Middle East. The exhibition features over 80 works of art in a wide variety
of media by 25 Royal Academicians and 25 prominent artists from across the Middle East.
Concurrently, Katara collaborated with Al Markhiya Gallery, to host The Witness, an exhibition
by Naji Al Ali & Hani Mazhar which commemorates the 25th anniversary of the assassination of
the renowned Palestinian caricaturist. The exhibition marks the first time that original drawings
by Naji Al Ali will be exhibited in the Middle East.
Abdulrahman Al-Khulaifi, President of Katara commented: “We are delighted to launch these
exhibitions in honor of Qatar- UK 2013. This initiative allows us to celebrate and further build
upon our strong relationship with the UK. Katara will be showcasing a number of events and
exhibitions to commemorate this long lasting relationship.”
Dr. Khaled Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara commented: “The exhibitions are a testimony
of our commitment to the growth of the art scene in Qatar. It is our mission to engage creative
minds and provide artists with a platform to showcase their talents, reinforcing our commitment
to educate and entertain whilst building cultural bridges.”
The Encounter exhibition offers a unique concept in showcasing the best of contemporary art
practice around the globe. Eschewing the presentation of a single curatorial point of view or
theme, Encounter enters into the spirit of engagement with the international art community and
the general public by inviting important artists from different countries to exhibit side-by-side with
a selection of prominent Royal Academicians. The exhibition will take place in Katara Gallery 1
and 2, Building 19 and 22 and will run until 6th March 2012.
The Witness exhibition, held in Katara Gallery 2 building 18, will run until 12th January 2012.
Known for his iconic figure, Handala, a ten year old Palestinian boy by Naji Al Ali, the exhibition
will feature original drawings by Naji Al Ali as well as a series of paintings by Iraqi artist, Hani
Mazhar which are inspired by Naji’s caricatures.
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