Tasweer, a new photography festival based in Qatar, announced today the open call for its inaugural Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Project and Single Image Awards. These annual, open call awards are intended to recognize and support photographers from Western Asia and North Africa.

The Tasweer photography festival is supported by Qatar Museums, and its Chairperson Sheikha Al Mayassa Al Thani, who said:
“We have great photographers in Qatar and the region, and with photography being part of our daily lives, we have to embrace this form of visual arts and support discussion and experimentation in this field. Tasweer Qatar Photo Festival is where we will organise exhibitions, installations, workshops, discussions, and where we will advance working practices, bolster community, and expand resources for photographers.”

The awards are named in honor of the late collector Sheikh Saoud Al Thani, who served as Chairman of Qatar’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage from 1997 through 2005, and created the Al-Thani Award for Photography in 2000. Sheikh Saoud Al Thani’s remarkable achievements are the subject of the exhibition A Falcon’s Eye: Tribute to Sheikh Saoud Al Thani, currently on view at the Museum of Islamic Art.

Tasweer’s founding Director Khalifa Ahmad Al Obaidly said:
“The Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Awards are in the heart and soul of Tasweer’s celebration of photographers and photographic communities in the WANA region. We hope that everyone who communicates their experiences and observations through photography submits their images to the awards’ open calls and help us create resources for – and internationally spread more knowledge about – the calibre and vitality of local and regional photography.”

The Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Project Award is a grant award of 30,000 QAR per awardee to support the initiation, further development or completion of a photographic project in 2021. The project award is an annual, open call award for photographers in Western Asia and North Africa. Project Award submissions will close the 24th of November 2020. The jurors of the Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Project Award in 2021, are Charlotte Cotton, Khalifa Ahmad Al Obaidly, Maryam Hassan Al-Thani, Sheikha Sara Saoud Al Thani, Sheikha Shaikha Al-Thani, and Suraya Shaheen.

Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Single Image Award is an annual award open to photographers of all ages and degrees of experience, who are resident in Western Asia and North Africa. The open call closes 8th November 2020. The 2021 Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Single Image Award guest jurors – the photography collective Photo Art Qatar – will select the winning single images and curate a group online exhibition; nighttime, outdoor projection and screen-based experiences. Working with the Tasweer team, Photo Art Qatar will curate a free magazine dedicated to Tasweer 2021 and the Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Awards.

Tasweer is supported by Qatar Museums under the leadership of its chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Realizing Qatar’s capacity to be a pre-eminent host for internationally resonant, innovative ideas in photography, Tasweer will build upon Qatar Museums’ commitment to nurture artistic talent, develop future generations of arts and heritage professionals, and encourage the nation’s burgeoning arts economy. Qatar Museums has evolved and expanded since its founding in 2005, and so have its initiatives to create a strong and sustainable cultural infrastructure for Qatar. To grow Qatar’s cultural ecosystem and support the grass-roots development of the nation’s creative industries, Qatar Museums supports a series of special projects that serve to enrich and expand the activity of local museums and heritage sites. Qatar Museums identifies and supports these projects, such as Tasweer and M7, by providing operational support, professional development, and community engagement to enable and empower these projects to become part of the arts and culture ecosystem in Qatar.

Full information about the Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Awards and the open call submission processes, visit Tasweer.Qa.