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Tasmeem Doha 2019

True Story: I was a Tasmeem co-chair

In the Spring of 2019, Tasmeem took over the VCUarts Qatar campus with its creative, quirky and expressive installations. What was unique, and vital to the success of Tasmeem 2019, was its organization by VCUarts Qatar graduates. For the first time in Tasmeem’s history, four MFA graduates, Yasmeen Suleiman, Noha Fouad, Wajiha Pervez and Hadeer Omar took the ownership of the biennial.

Hekayat

The vibrant scene was a backdrop for the expressive theme, which was rooted in the Arab tradition of the sharing narratives, poems and tales – Hekayat – the Arabic word for “stories”.

For three days, from March 13–15, thousands of stories were shared across the campus. Unforgettable narratives, anecdotes and tales were relayed in what became a memorable experience of distinctive and meaningful storytelling.

Over the last few years, VCUarts Qatar has earned the reputation of being the central hub and destination of cutting-hedge discussions and demonstrations in the field of art and design in Qatar. For Tasmeen 2019’s theme, Hekayat, the journey was celebrated as much as the outcome and a multitude of talks, workshops, exhibitions and activities were conducted for students, alumni and the public.

We were the first graduates to take on such a project. It was an experience and a challenge at the same time. Our first little victory was when our proposal was accepted and that was a huge milestone for us.

Hadeer Omar, Tasmeem Doha 2019 co-chair
Tehran-based artist, Ali Phi made a special appearance at the Gallery to display his interactive audio installation ‘QAL- the anti-carpet’. Traditional rug patterns were created in real time by hands moving through the light on a device.
Ali Khan, 'QAL - the anti-carpet' at The Gallery ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Tasmeem Doha 2019 Yasmeen Suleiman, Noha Fouad, Wajiha Pervez and Hadeer Omar
©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar

Co-Chairs

Yasmeen Suleiman is a Doha-based designer and educator. As the Materials Curator at VCUarts Qatar’s Materials Library, she has a curiosity and appreciation for how materials transform ideas into physical existence. Her research explores concepts of temporality and permanence within the preservation of culture, crafts, architecture, and design.

@y_ns

What made the event is the different energies that we brought to it.

Co-chair Yasmeem Suleiman

Hadeer Omar is an Egyptian time-based media artist, designer, and educator, living in Qatar. She holds an MFA in Design and BFA in Graphic Design. Her work explores cultural identity and memories, the self, and narratives artfully through immersive XR media and technologies, graphics, photography, and video art installations. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor at VCUarts in Qatar.

@hadeeromar
www.hadeeromar.com

In love with coffee, shoes, textiles and all things handmade. Wajiha enjoys bringing innovation, appreciation for living material culture and sustainability to practice through her work. She is a sneakerhead, a believer in process, a constant traveler and an ignitor of ideas. You will find her experimenting with materials, collecting unique footwear around the world and discussing ideas over coffee. Wajiha has an MFA in Design from VCUarts Qatar and BFA in the Textile design from UCAD, Pakistan.

@wajihapervez

Noha is a designer with a passion for all things technology. She dips her feet into various design disciplines, exploring the differences-but more importantly, the similarities-of design. Noha strives to leave her mark on the world-for design, through design. When she is not busy designing, you will probably find her fixing the hotbed of her 3D printer for the 100th time. Noha has an MFA in Design from VCUarts Qatar and a BID in Industrial Design from Carleton University, Canada.

@no.hahahaha

Insight

We wanted the speakers to enjoy. We wanted them to be involved. We wanted them to learn. We wanted them to just be there and hang around while other people are doing their stuff. You don't have to be involved in this thing you can just enjoy the atmosphere.

Co-chair Wajiha Pervez

In Conversation with the Co-chairs

Interview by Nourbanu Al-Hejazi, MFA' 18

Rana Beiruti and Richard Lombard ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
“We were so invested. The students, the faculty, everyone was just super invested in the preparation of the conference. That’s what made it.” Excerpt of audio interview
“We wanted the speakers to enjoy. We wanted them to be involved. We wanted them to learn. We wanted them to just be there and hang around while other people are doing their stuff. You don't have to be involved in this thing you can just enjoy the atmosphere” - Excerpt of audio interview
Tasmeem Doha 2019
"It felt like a wedding celebration at the end, with everyone gathering around food, music, and Hadeer dancing on the courtyard tables. Unforgettable. " - Excerpt of audio interview
"The entrance was another opportunity to create an experiential moment in the space. Something playful, whimsical, and fun to mark the beginning - to set the tone as you stepped into the event." - Excerpt of audio interview
"We wanted the experience in the atrium to be more informal and intimate - like we were gathering everyone around to sit and listen to a story." - Excerpt of audio interview
“We only got to process it (referring to Tasmeem 2019) after it was over and when we were doing the dissemination of taking it to conferences and talking about it and discussing it amongst ourselves.” - Excerpt of audio interview

Theme

We all have a story to share. Tasmeem Doha 2019 will be a creative event that will focus on ‘Hekayat’ (stories) as its central theme. ‘Hekayat’ will provide a platform where storytelling can be explored through various mediums, and stories can be shared and celebrated in a multitude of forms.

The process of any creative endeavor is the narrative of an idea reaching fruition. ‘Hekayat’ will shift the limelight to the process, rather than the outcome alone.

Video

Tasmeem Doha 2019 covered by Dimitri Yuri

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