On a cool Doha Saturday morning this January, I joined Graphic Design Seniors Rabeya Khatoon and Alisha Saiyed in the last session of the Community Art Workshop entitled “Built / Unbuilt: City / Home.”  We spent the day working alongside a wonderful group of people dedicated to building artistic bridges with the Nepalese community led by Dina Bangdel (Chair of the VCUQatar Art History Department), UCLQ colleagues, and NRNA-Qatar. Through a series of creative activities, this collaborative community art project explored the transcultural experiences of Nepalis living in Doha within the theme of the “city” to ‘create communities’ and encourage the multiple voices of the lived space to emerge.

The aim of the project is to serve as an incubator of transcultural narratives by exploring how space and place respond to–and generate–palimpsest narratives of identity, memory, and community. The project began in Doha with three Nepali artists who were invited for a short-term artist ‘residency’ to explore, collaborate, and discover the city. Their work culminated in a series of collaborative workshops with the migrant Nepali community (in collaboration with UCLQ/NRNA).

“For the cities of Doha and Kathmandu, the theme of change serves as a shared catalyst of a rapidly changing urban landscape.”

Visiting artists from Nepal — Hitmaan Gurung, Mekh Limbu, and Sheelasha Rajbhandari in collaboration with Doha-based artists Abdulla Al Kuwari, Carolina Aranibar Fernandez, and Emelina Soares. The outcomes of this collaborative Community Art project will be showcased in the Kathmandu Triennale (March 23-April 7).