Doha: To celebrate the closing of the 7th edition of the UK Festival which was themed around Sport for Good and took place from 23 – 29 November, the British Council Qatar signed a letter of collaboration with Katara Village Foundation. The letter states both countries commitment to deepening cultural relations through;
- Strategic joint programmes and events across different cultural fields
- Facilitating exchange visits and mutual participation in festivals between the two countries
- Promoting opportunities for Qatari nationals to undertake cultural and educational opportunities in the United Kingdom.
This year’s Festival, which was attended by more than 25000 people, and brought to life the UK’s vibrant cultural scene in Qatar, facilitating exchanges between UK and Qatari artists, and young people. As part of the festival, a variety of different artists put on performances and collaborative activities to showcase the Sport For Good theme including;
- Radio Selector – showcasing diversity in the UK’s music scene
- Parkour shows – award-winning Parkour artists ran live shows to motivate people to use sport for good by spending less time indoors and more time outside moving
- Illustration project – Tim Vyner, a renowned UK-based illustrator collaborated with Qatari artist Kholood Al-Ali to draw live illustrations of everything around him, capturing the energy of young leaders participating in the festival in addition to the Qatari culture and heritage.
- Mural creation – young people and communities from around the world worked in collaboration with UK and Qatari artists on murals highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion in sport.
- Photography shooting stars exhibition – 10 young people were trained by two world-class photographers to take photos of live events at the World Cup, with their top picks on display at an exhibition visible to all festival goers
Scott McDonald, Chief Executive of the British Council, who attended the festival, reflected: “It is a real pleasure to be here in Qatar and see the activities over the last weeks come together in these great works of arts that embody all that British Council stands for, collaboration and cultural exchange that can help create more inclusive societies and provide young people lasting skills to take into other parts of their live.
I would like to deeply thank GREAT for supporting this event, as well as all other partners and in specific, Katara Cultural Village Foundation. The newly signed Letter of Collaboration will further enhance the cultural exchange between both nations.”
H.E. Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara Cultural Village Foundation, added: “It has been another great edition of the UK Festival with so many cultural highlights that have brought the UK and Qatar communities even closer and explored how you can use different arts forms to connect communities, young and old.
I am delighted to grow our relationship with the British Council Qatar and together work on deepening and enriching our countries’ culture and arts sectors.”
Director of GREAT campaign, Andrew Pike, concluded: “I am delighted to be here in Qatar, celebrating UK and Qatari creativity and diversity. It’s great to see all the different activities taking place and how we’ve engaged different audiences around the Sport for Good theme. We were able to increase awareness of UK culture and build a cultural bridge between Qatar and the UK through arts, music and sports! I would like to thank the British Council and Katara for working alongside us to make this happen. I look forward to a rich and long-lasting collaboration with Qatar.”
The UK Festival is a partnership between the British Council and the GREAT campaign, and supported by many partner organisations and initiatives:
- British Embassy Qatar
- Katara Cultural Village
- Education Above all
- ILove Qatar.Net
- QBS Radio
- Street Child United
- Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy
- Welsh Government
Full Programme available on British Council Qatar website [https://www.britishcouncil.qa/en/events/uk-festival-2022].
*UK and Qatari artists involved with the UK Festival:
- Jamz Supernova (UK)
- Katie Owen (UK)
- The Urban Playground Team
- Bryce Owain Davies (UK)
- Anya Welch (UK)
- Beatrice Garcia (UK)
- Hannah McGree (UK)
- Muna Al-Bader (Qatar)
- Vicky Roy (UK)
- John Gully Cole (UK)
- David William Logan Westhead (UK)
- Tim Vyner (UK)
- Kholoud Al-Ali (Qatar)
About British Council
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021–22 we reached 650 million people.