We asked special guests to choose a student whose work must be highlighted, whose talents they want to share with the world and whose names we’ll all soon know in Qatar.
Discover the pick of architect and writer Jumanah Abbas!
Aisha’s thesis project is an installation based on one of her worlds, “Above the Clouds,” which exists beyond human reach and where creatures that look like women live. These creatures are responsible for changing the sky and creating weather conditions that can help the earth function. Aisha uses paper pulp to show how, despite her efforts to bring her fictional worlds into the material world, they could quickly disappear because of the fragility of the material.
Jumanah Abbas is an architect, a writer, and a curator, working through an ecology of interdisciplinarity with which architecture debates, concepts and dialogues engage.
Jumanah works through collaborative projects with institutes and universities, such as: “Mapping Memories of Resistance: The Untold Story of the Occupation of the Golan Heights” – a project in collaboration with London School of Economics, Birzeit University, and Al Marsad, Arab Human Rights Center in Golan Heights. Another such project was the Tasmeem Biennial 2022, themed around Radical Futures, at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she was appointed to curate the biennial spatial design. She is currently working towards the realization of the upcoming Qatar Museums’ Quadrennial project, a multi-site art exhibition opening in 2026.
She is also currently working on the “I Had Come from the Sea” publication, in collaboration with the Palestinian Museum. Her current and upcoming writings can be found in Arab Urbanism (2020), Failed Architecture (2021), New Generations (2021), Cartha Magazine (2022) Lumin Press (2022), amongst others.
About the Selected Project: 'Above The Clouds'
Even though Aisha’s fantastical creatures may seem human-like, they are imagined in a habitat far from us. Each character has its idiosyncratic sensibility to our environments, while collectively mining practices of care and repair to our earth. In her “Above The Clouds” installation, we meet Raincoat Girl made with delicacy and materialized using fragile materials. The process of making Raincoat Girl deviates from the conventional representation of anime characters: it offers an alternative lens to the world-making of anime, one that combines the practices of arts with the actions of environmental justice and activism.
We encourage our graduates not to just find opportunities, but to create them. Not just to seek answers, but to dare to ask questions. And not simply to understand the world, but to seek to change it. We believe this year’s graduates will do this and more, playing a significant role in shaping the cultural landscape of Qatar and beyond.
Faculty: Dr. Aissa Deebi, Director
Dr. Bahaa Abudaya, Khalifa Al Obaidly, Habeeb Abu Futtaim, Charlene Kasdorf, Rola Khayyat, Dr. Issam Nassar, Michael Perrone, Charlotte Rodenberg, Walid Taher and Peter Welz
The RAW Talent