Qatar Museums’ Years of Culture initiative returns with the second edition of the Manga Style! competition.

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Qatar and Japan, and the cultural ties established during the Qatar-Japan 2012 Year of Culture, Manga Style! in collaboration with the Japanese Embassy and Geekdom – Doha Film Institute, is back.

The Qatar Museums Years of Culture initiative competition invites Qataris and resident manga enthusiasts to submit visually dynamic stories that showcase both countries’ cultures under the theme of Friendship. Original stories can be submitted in Arabic or English until July 31. Entries are free and applicants can submit up to three different stories. Each entry must be a minimum of 16 pages. A team of curators, who are representatives from Qatar Museums, the Embassy of Qatar in Tokyo, the Embassy of Japan in Qatar, and Geekdom – Doha Film Institute, will shortlist the winners by early September. The first-place winner will receive QR20,000, second-place QR15,000 and thirdplace will take home QR10,000.

Aisha Ghanem Al Attiya, Director of Cultural Diplomacy, Qatar Museums, said: “The Years of Culture initiative has established a rich legacy of cooperation between Qatar and the 10 countries that have partnered with us in the decade since it was launched. We are particularly honoured to have built long-lasting ties with our very first Year of Culture partner – Japan – that have only grown over the past decade.”

The Manga Style! competition is an opportunity to bring together two distinct cultural legacies steeped in rich storytelling practices – the Arab world’s renowned oral storytelling traditions brought to life through vibrant manga-style illustrations. Manga are a series of comics or graphic novels. Most follow a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century and are rooted in even earlier Japanese artforms. The term manga is used in Japan to refer to both comics and cartooning.

The Qatar-MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) Year of Culture 2022 will include countries and communities from: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Bhutan, Egypt, India, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. ✤