Tasweer Photo Festival Gives an Insight into Image Making

Qatar Museums announced the winners of the Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Single Image Award and Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Project Award, in partnership with Qatar Foundation, as part of the Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar that opened on March 24 across various locations in Qatar and runs through 30 May with a series of exhibitions dedicated to global photographers and image-makers.

The 2021 Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Single award winning photograph by Tamim Ahmad Baba.

The photography awards are dedicated to Sheikh Saoud Al Thani (1966-2014), one of Qatar’s greatest collectors who largely shaped the Museum of Islamic Art’s extraordinary collection, some of his collections were on view at the Museum of Islamic Arts.

The vivid picturisation of the desert, living in war-torn countries, to a simple image of a father and his children, the entries draw on experiences and life as each photographer has seen it with their skills taking centre stage to present the final image as vividly as possible.

The 2021 Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Project Award winner Samar Sayed Baiomy’s winning work.

The Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Project Award is an annual grant award that supports photographers’ proposals for the development or completion of a photographic project. In October 2020, Tasweer announced the open call for applications for the annual grant and formed a jury comprising Sheikha Sara Al-Thani from the Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Awards; photographer and editor, Sueraya Shaheen; independent researcher Kristine Khouri and Sheikha Shaikha Al-Thani from Qatar Photographic Society along with Tasweer’s Artistic Director Charlotte Cotton, Tasweer Director Khalifa Ahmad Al Obaidly and Senior Curator Maryam Hassan Al-Thani. The jury selected six awardees: Hayat Ahmed Al Sharif, Mohammed El Shamy, Mona Hassan, Rula Halawani, Samar Sayer Baiomy and Shaima Al-Tamimi.

Mona Hassan’s work won the 2021 Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Project Award.

The Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Single Image Award is an annual, open call for a single image that best represents the photographer’s experience and personal narrative. Winners of the award include Noufal Al Ruziqi, Javid Tafazoli, Mohammed Nageeb Nasr, Mohammed Al-Hajri, Omar Alsorori, Israa Mahmood Al Balushi, Alanoud Alghamdi, Mohammed Sawari, Heriadi Joewono and Tamim Baba. The 10 prize-winning photographs of the 2021 Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Single Image Award will be exhibited in the main lobby of Doha Tower

More than 200 submissions for the Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Single Image Award have been curated into an online exhibition on view at The curation was led by photography collective Photo Art Qatar comprising-Adriane de Souza, Ammar Alquamash, Latifa Aldarwish, and Shaima Ayoub and made available on screens at in-patient facilities of Hamad Medical Corporation.

Rula Halawani is the recipient of the 2021 Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Project Award.

“We were incredibly impressed by the submissions received for both awards. The photographers capture the moments they have lived through and experienced – many of the images shining a spotlight on humanitarian crises across the region. It is crucial that photographers show us what is happening in Arab countries and capture the truth with an artist’s frame,” said Khalifa Al Obaidly, Director of Tasweer.

The Sheikh Saoud Al Thani Award was first announced in 2001 as a platform to support photographers. The award has now been relaunched by Tasweer in its inaugural year, with the Saoud bin Mohammed Al-Thani Foundation, as annual open calls to photographers in Western Asia and North Africa (WANA), continuing its journey of celebrating and nurturing photographic talent.

Tasweer, established by Qatar Museums under the leadership of its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and sponsored by the Social & Sport Contribution Fund (Daam), builds on a commitment to nurturing artistic talent, develop Qatar’s arts economy and support creative industry. M7, Qatar’s new hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in the creative industries, is the central location for Tasweer.