Waiting for Qatar

A camel in the desert, an oil millionaire in a kaftan or a soccer world cup embroiled in FIFA corruption, those are the images most likely to pop up when we think of Qatar. It is still a country low on the radar, somehow mysterious to the western mind. There was no war or arab spring to grasp our attention. However, Qatar is on its way to a shake-up, if all goes according to the plans of its former chief of government.

In 2008, his Highness Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani presented the „Qatar Vision 2030“. This plan envisions a modern, independent country, based not on oil but on knowledge. It aims at building „a bridge between the past and the future“, thus creating an equal society with a diversified economy.

There are many countries with ambitious plans or dreams for their nation’s future. But most of these countries don’t have Qatar’s hydrocarbon resources. The emirate affords the financial means to pursue a future that perfectly matches its desires, a very unique and luxury position. Since 2008, major developments, partnerships and investments have been instigated, covering the fields of education, urban planning, science and research.

In my long-term project „Waiting for Qatar“, I’m exploring these transformations. Does the reality live up to the vision? I want to get in touch with the people, places and projects essential to the change in order to create the first visual inventory of the new Qatar. This research will be condensed into a documentary essay that shows a country’s transition into a new era.

 

Impressum:
Gregor Schmidt
Dunckerstraße 15
10437 Berlin
Germany

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© Gregor Schmidt