The Majlis - Cultures in Dialogue Exhibition landed at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris
December 11, 2018
Following its exhibition at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta - Malta, The Majlis – Cultures in Dialogue continues its global touring showcase by landing at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on November 29, 2018 with a grand opening ceremony that attracted over 200 guests from the world of politics, business, media, art and culture.
The Majlis – Cultures in Dialogue is a traveling cross-cultural exhibition that features over 50 objects from the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum in Qatar. These artifacts reflect the personal interests of the Museum’s founder, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, and are a testimony to the beauty that has resulted from centuries of intercultural dialogue across the Arabian Peninsula and throughout the world. The selection covers the full range of human experience, referencing events from different religions or holy books, relating conceptions of the world and the universe, illustrating serious matters of power and politics, and narrating tales of love, war and peace.
At the heart of the exhibition is the majlis, the space of hospitality and dialogue present in homes throughout the Arabian Gulf. The exhibition intends to drive people to sit in the majlis and engage in conversations on what they see; transmitting the cultural dialogue by exchanging their impressions of the exhibition and learning about other cultures and religions at first hand.
Speaking about the exhibition, H.E. Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani said: “The tangible, intangible and documentary heritage of all people – their artifacts, handicrafts, arts and songs – are central to the existence of a cultured and civilized dialogue among nations. We hope that by sharing objects which connect peoples with their past we are keeping alive history, culture and traditions and highlighting how different cultures have much more commonalities than differences amongst them.”
From his part, Mr. Xing Qu, Deputy Director General of UNESCO for Culture, said: "The Majlis – Cultures in Dialogue in Paris truly exemplifies how art can perfectly play the role of a critical enabler in building bilateral ties. In sync with the philosophy that museums play a decisive role in strengthening the creative economy locally and regionally, we take immense pride in associating with this noble cause and such an exemplary initiative."
H.E. Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani, Chairman of Katara Hospitality (an international hotel developer and one of the event’s sponsors) said: “We are honored to partner with The Majlis – Cultures in Dialogue of Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum in its first edition in Paris, which serves the same values of Katara Hospitality in creating emotional connection through crafted unique experiences for guests and visitors. With this taking place in Paris, a city that is famous for its museums, architecture and history, we believe it is the perfect platform to create a unique cultural landscape with one of the most mutual tools for the enhancement of intercultural dialogue and reconciliation.”
Qatari songwriter and composer Dana Al Fardan, who created a song specifically for the event titled 'Cultures In Dialogue', said: “I am honored to contribute a piece of music dedicated to bridging cultures and promoting dialogue. Music is a universal language that transcends physical and cultural barriers, creating shared values and experiences that enrich the human spirit and conditions. This piece was composed to highlight historical commonalities between civilizations around the world. The musical features of this composition resonate between Eastern and Western cultural movements and traditions, with the intention of bridging the gap, and invoking a heritage based on inclusion.”
The Majlis – Cultures in Dialogue is only the beginning of a much bigger project to connect people, beliefs and cultures by creating opportunities for respectful, yet incisive dialogues to take place. The exhibition is set to become a platform where relevant cultural aspects can be discussed, and original perspectives can be generated through collective thinking. The aim is to initiate meaningful connections between people and cultures and stimulate enriched dialogue around the world.
Following Paris, the exhibition will visit several European countries, including Turkey and Austria. The tour will also include the United States by 2021.
The Majlis – Cultures in Dialogue will be at the UNESCO Headquarters until December 14, 2018. Its next stop will be at the Institut Du Monde Arabe, in Paris, where it will last for two months.