Doha (2013)

Miriam Ewers

About this exposition

During 2011-2012, I joined Virginia Commonwealth University’s Art and Design School in Qatar, a small country diplomatically and culturally important in bridging eastern and western cultures. There, my daily interactions with students naturally stimulated many questions of how a visual culture can lay the groundwork for better understanding between people of different nationalities. If asked to be mediators or interpreters or agents of culture in our globalized context, what would these young artists seek to convey? In turn, what narratives could I draw forth to contribute to a fuller understanding of those living and working in Qatar? I decided to pursue answers to my conundrum in conjunction with my students.
typeresearch exposition
affiliationVirginia Commonwealth University, Qatar
published inJournal for Artistic Research

comments: 1 (last entry by Margus Tamm - 18/06/2013 at 13:33)
Margus Tamm 18/06/2013 at 13:33

Miriam Ewers's exposition “Doha” deals with a number of highly interesting topics: cultural exchange between eastern and western cultures; Muslim women vs educational system; inter-language transition from verbal to visual storytelling; usage of visual imagery as intercultural lingua franca.


The starting point in the artistic research is the author's work as an academic instructor under the medical design project “Prosthesis” in Art and Design School in Doha, Qatar. Working in the American educational institution placed into culturally very diverse of Qatar inspired the author to ask questions about the risk of cross-cultural misunderstandings, and to look at visual arts as a tool for cross-cultural communication.


As a result of authors doubts and thoughts, the original medical design project “Prosthesis” evolved into the more philosophic project “Adversity as opportunity”. One of the first tasks for the students was then to make an audio interview on the same topic with somebody from their family. Further progression of project can be described as following two parallel paths: students worked with concepts for prothesis, their instructor, at the same worked further with the collected interviews in search for visual language for cross-cultural storytelling. At conclusion, it seems that this educational exploration proved to be rewarding in both ways – students produced number of interesting design concepts; and their instructor herself developed series of poetic images, visualizing her intercultural and interdisciplinary mediations.


Although it may have been interesting to see more cross-references between those two parallel developments (and i.e. get to know the students thoughts on the images), exposition “Doha” offers a poetic journey into culturally diverse Qatar with support of engaging audio-interviews and beautiful visual imagery.


It is also worth to mention that although there was hardly any complains against overall visual presentation of exposition in the first place, the further-developed current presentation looks even more stunning.

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