The Role of Women in Qatar’s Art Sector

On November 26th, 2019, The Art Gorgeous, a digital periodical that focuses on art and fashion, published an article that highlighted the rise of Qatar as an attracting destination for fashion and art-related events. This was witnessed with Qatar Museum’s latest art exhibition, KAWS: HE EATS ALONE,  held at Doha Fire Station, Garage Gallery.

The exhibit and installation commenced on October 25th, 2019, and will terminate on January 25th, 2020.

KAWS in Doha

Most notably, the article emphasized the role and influence of 10 women in shaping Qatar’s nascent art and fashion industries. Some leading women in these fields include H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Sheikha Amna bint Abdulaziz bin Jassim Al Thani, and Marilena Koutsoukou.

H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is involved and engaged in multiple facets of Qatar’s informal and formal education and arts sectors: she is the chairperson of Qatar Museum, Doha Film Institute, and Qatar Leadership. Her current objectives are to improve and bolster the country’s human development, culture, and economic growth via the power of education, which in turn complements the goals in Qatar National Vision 2030.

Sheikha Amna bint Abdulaziz bin Jassim Al Thani, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and of the London School of Economics, is the Director of the National Museum of Qatar. Here, she provides her curatorial and managerial expertise and leadership, and, in tandem, she monitors the overall educational programs, exhibitions, and conferences held at the museum. Previously, Sheikha Amna bint Abdulaziz worked for Goldman Sachs at Qatar Financial Center and was the Director of Finance and Strategy for the office of QM Chairperson H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa.

Marilena Koutsoukou, Founder of Muse/Lab

Lastly, Marilena Koutsoukou is the Director of Muse/Lab. Marilena received a dual degree in International Relations and Economics from Tufts University and obtained an MA in Museum and Gallary Practice from University College London (UCL). In addition, other than her current position at Muse/Lab, she is also the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art advisor in the Middle East and cooperates with other cultural institutions in Qatar.

Currently, Marilena is occupied with her latest project, Aegean Desert: a photography exhibition of HRH Prince Nikolaos, who was inspired by Qatar’s mesmerizing deserts and Greece’s blue sea. This project marks the first institutional art collaboration between Qatar and Greece.

From a macro perspective, Qatar’s emergence and appreciation of the arts have made the peninsula an attractive international destination for many prestigious art institutions and artists, and, most importantly, it has underlined the country’s commitment to harnessing the arts to foster cross-cultural dialogue and understanding. Conversely, from a micro perspective, the predominant role of women in the country’s art industry demonstrates the fundamental role that women have in further propelling Qatar’s global prestige in the arts, including its sustained economic growth.

For further information on Qatar’s artistic revolution, TRT World, a Turkish international news channel, released a video on how Qatari female artists are spearheading Qatar’s art scene.





(Image Source: The Art Gorgeous)


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