Mal Lawal exhibition took place in 2012. Meaning ‘from the old days’, it invited everyone in Qatar to share the objects that have made an impression and resonated with them throughout their lives. From everyday artefacts and quirky trinkets to contemporary treasures and Qatari art, community-led contributions shaped an incredibly unique show – the first of its kind in the region.
The project represented the shared heritage and passions of local people, both esteemed collectors and amateur enthusiasts. It offered younger people a window to the past, and allowed the nation’s collective character to shine.
The exhibition will return later this year, so do check here for updates and details about how you can take part.
Spotlight on local talent
The exhibition contained a section, curated by Qatar Museums, featuring original works by contemporary Qatari artists including Yousef Ahmed, Wafika Sultan Saif Al-Essa and Wadha Al Suleati amongst others. Full of fresh thinking, it offered an insight into the country’s creative output. It demonstrated huge individual potential and exciting prospects for the future.
Alongside the exhibition, we ran an extensive outreach and education programme to encourage audiences to connect with the content. It featured a series of lectures by collectors, artists and critics, immersive workshops and specially designed activity books for younger groups. Hopefully, they recognised the importance of collecting, perhaps for the first time. We believe some visitors will have been inspired to start their own personal collections as a result.
Mal Lawal also provided an area where visitors could freely record and share their own stories. This allowed them to contribute to the documenting of Qatar’s heritage and identity, beyond donating objects for the exhibition. This initiative, called Wathiq, is linked to an online forum where all recordings are collated for a broader, digital audience.