Doha, 29 November 2023 – British Council Qatar celebrates another successful UK Festival with newly forged UK-Qatar connections, organisational partnerships, and increased public awareness of sustainability and communities.
On 25 November 2023, the 8th UK Qatar Festival came to a close after three weeks of cultural thought-provoking activities that brought together UK and Qatari artists and Qatari organisations and engaged communities across Qatar, including many women and girls, on the theme of sustainability and communities.
This year’s festival saw many highlights, from a photography competition to textile recycling workshops, sustainable arts installations, sustainable fashion shows, Comic art workshops and Family UK day
Driven by the cultural activities, the UK Festival led to great outcomes:
• Welcomed more than 10,000 participants over three weeks, raising awareness on sustainability, communities, particularly emphasizing the active involvement of women and girls
• More than 300 artists from 40 countries including the UK collaborated with Qatari organisations, in Arts and Culture, forging lasting UK-Qatar connections.
• With a strong commitment to female inclusion, the festival empowered female artists to take the lead in artistic workshops, amplifying their voices and contributions in the realm of arts and culture.
• Over 20 schools in Qatar actively participated in festival activities. The initiative increased youth involvement and empowered them with insights into sustainability and artistic expression.
• The impactful installation 'Cut from the Cloth” in partnership with M7 engaged schools in hands-on recycling and sustainability workshops, resulting in an interactive and educational experience for over 200 participants.
• A strategic partnership was set up with Earthna as part of Qatar’s Sustainability week, underscoring the festivals and British Council’s overall commitment to lasting environmental impact.
• The festival's photography competition “See Things Differently” garnered nearly 100 applicants, focusing on the theme of Sustainability and Communities, with 6 deserving finalists and 7 runners up from each category earning recognition for their impactful work.
• An institutional partnership was set the Qatar International Arts Festival, with the participation of 12 global galleries and over 300 artists from more than 61 countries worldwide not only celebrated art but also incorporated eco-conscious activities, including an environmentally friendly fashion show
• Lake International Comic Art Festival (LICAF's)comic workshops at the British Council and Horticulture Expo
• The British Council hosted a memorable UK Family Day, uniting diverse communities, in collaboration with LICAF, emphasising the importance of sustainability through artistic expression.
Waseem Kotoub, Country Director, British Council Qatar, said: “I would like to thank our partners, artists, volunteers, guides, and participants for making this year’s Festival another great success. The Festival has once again shown how you can use arts and culture as a vehicle to create lasting connections between people and organisations and also to raise awareness on topics like sustainability and communities.
There have been many highlights in this year’s programme that not only have been fun, engaging, and educational but that also have brought the UK and Qatar communities even closer, as highlighted by British Council’s partnerships with British Embassy Qatar, GREAT, Earthna, Horticulture EXPO 2023, M7, Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Qatar International Art Festival and Tasweer
HE Jon Wilks, British Ambassador to Qatar, added: The British Embassy and the British Council in Doha have worked closely to deliver the 2023 UK Cultural Festival. I have enjoyed taking part in many of the events personally. It has also been a pleasure to work with our many public and private sector partners on this year's Festival. The programme of activities has brought together so many talented people, building on old friendships and making new ones. The strengthening of these human connections will enable us to do more in the years to come in support of Qatar's National Vision 2030 and to help both countries to benefit more from our strong bilateral relations.”
The UK supports Qatar in the delivery of its Vision 2030, and the theme discussed in this year’s Festival are in full support of the environment and human development pillars. We look forward to working on these pillars together ahead of COP28 and beyond.”