‘Intaj’: New exhibition rewinds back to Qatar’s early media days

From theatre, cinema, to the establishment of television, the exhibition draws a timeline of the development of the media scene.

Art enthusiasts and 2022 FIFA World Cup visitors can now go back in time to some of the earliest media productions in Qatar via the new “Intaj” exhibition.

Derived from the Arabic word for “production”, the Doha Film Institute inaugurated the gallery in Sikkat Wadi Msheireb on Tuesday.

The exhibition is set to run until 22 January 2023. 

It features multimedia elements from Qatar’s old film, television and theatre productions, offering visitors a glimpse of the country’s culture.

“Together with various other artforms, they are the beating heart of our nation’s rich identity, which we proudly share with the world during the Doha Film Experience and beyond,” said Fatma Alremaihi, Chief Executive Office of the Doha Film Institute.

Al remaihi added that Intaj is exhibiting “exceptionally talented multidisciplinary artists”, representing Qatar as both a destination for sports and “creative inspiration”.

Going as far back as the 1970’s, the exhibition shows the beginning of the theatre scene in Doha with the establishment of the Qatar Theatrical Troupe in 1972, and the Al Sadd Theatrical Troupe a year later.

According to Qatar’s news agency (QNA), it also spotlights the 1990’s when the Qatari Theatrical Troupe and the Doha Theatrical Troupe joined the arts scene. 

Visitors also have the opportunity to learn about the Qatar National Theatre, a building that has proven to be pivotal to the development of the arts and media industry in Doha since 1986.

In another gallery, titled “Tuned In”, the exhibition looks at the founding of Qatar’s national television back in August 1970, an occasion that eventually paved the way to the development of the local media industry. 

Decades later, Qatar Television now stands as the voice of the nation. 

The national broadcaster also provided a platform for Qatari talents of all generations allowing them to report on domestic issues while simultaneously promoting Doha’s cultural values.

With no media complete without film, a third gallery showcases Qatar’s cinematic world from basic theatres from the 1950’s to the establishment of the Qatar Cinema Company in 1970. 

Joining efforts with Qatar TV, the gallery promotes a range of short documentaries produced in the Gulf state prior to the establishment of the Doha Film Industry in 2010 by Sheikha Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani.

According to QNA, the film company supported more than 750 projects from more than 75 countries around the world, becoming the first Arab organisation to ever receive 10 Oscar nominations.

Adding its own artistic touch to the exhibition, a Qatar Museums gallery titled “The Story of Cinema” is now displaying contributions from Doha’s creative community.

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