Image for Ephemeral vs Permanent | Hadeer Omar x Yasmeen Suleiman | 25 Years of VCUart Qatar

Ephemeral vs Permanent | Hadeer Omar x Yasmeen Suleiman | 25 Years of VCUart Qatar

We’re looking back over 25 years of VCUarts Qatar through Tasmeem Doha – one of the region’s leading and most influential design initiatives – and chatting with six VCUarts Qatar faculty members and key players who have helped make it what it is today.

In the second episode of The Tasmeem Doha podcast, we examine ephemerality vs permanence. Together with assistant professors at VCUarts Qatar Hadeer Omar and Yasmeen Suleiman, we think about Tasmeem Doha as a maverick event that has fundamentally transformed the region’s design scene. They describe how university life has been changed by Tasmeem Doha and what they see to be the temporary and permanent day-to-day legacies of the conference. And they celebrate the invaluable community, connections and conversations that are born out of Tasmeem Doha in each of its renditions.

Omar explains what time-based media actually means — pushing us to reflect on perceptions and measurements of time in a fast-moving and transforming city like Doha. We contemplate the symbiotic relationship between permanence and temporality and finally, both Omar and Suleiman share their favorite memories from Tasmeem Doha over the years.

0:00 – Introduction

0:27 – Suleiman and Omar’s backgrounds and roles at VCUarts Qatar and their memories at Tasmeem Doha

5:22 – How has Tasmeem Doha changed both for students and for your creative practice?

7:42 – The design scene in Qatar in 2008

11:32 – Tasmeem Doha’s ephemeral and permanent legacy

20:42 – Time-based media and how to measure time in Doha

27:05 – Preservation, permanence and legacy — to what extent is it possible?

29:37 – Relationship with students & challenges in the design industry now

39:42 – Ways that Tasmeem Doha can support the industry

46:14 – Favorite memories from Tasmeem Doha

Tasmeem Doha is a biennial international conference that focuses on unique and contemporary themes in art and design. For 2024, the theme of the event is “Under Construction”, which is both a metaphor for creative research as well as a celebration and investigation of transformation. It is also a state that Doha has found itself in for decades: a transformation that has presented an outsized impact on the residents of the city.

Under Construction will also explore the past, present and future of VCUarts Qatar’s flagship event Tasmeem Doha. As part of the 25th anniversary of VCUart Qatar’s campus in Doha, the event will bring together voices from the past, present and future of various disciplines involved in this cycle of rethinking and remaking.

Yasmeen Suleiman is Materials Library Curator and assistant professor at VCUarts Qatar. She approaches materials from a multifaceted design perspective, with an unquenchable curiosity and appreciation for how materials transform ideas into tangible reality. Her research interests encompass concepts of preservation, temporality and permanence, trace, value, culture, and contextual design. Previously, she taught Materials and Methods Studio as adjunct faculty in the MFA department. She also worked on the Hamad International Airport Project as part of their architecture and interior design team.

Hadeer Omar is an Egyptian new media artist and assistant professor at VCUarts in Qatar, and teaches time-based media and storytelling. Her work centers on exploring socio-cultural issues through immersive XR media, graphics, photography, A/V performances, 360 storytelling, and video art installations. One of the key focuses of her artistic practice is to utilize technology to examine complex issues of cultural identity, memories, and the self in the Middle East and North Africa region. Her approach to storytelling challenges conventional perceptions of art and design, inviting viewers to examine in new and thought-provoking ways. She was one of the co-chairs of the Tasmeem Doha art and design conference in 2019.


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