The Years of Culture initiative, in partnership with M7 and Liwan Design Studios and Labs, will bring traditional Indonesian arts and crafts workshops to various locations in Doha this September to celebrate and explore the deep cultural ties between Qatar and Indonesia.
The workshops have been designed by the Years of Culture team in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Research of the Republic of Indonesia and Indonesian artisans and experts in ceramics, puppet-making, dance, and batik-making.
In a press statement, Aisha Ghanem al-Attiya, director of Cultural Diplomacy at Qatar Museums (QM), said: “It is always important for us at the Years of Culture initiative to create tangible connections between the cultures we celebrate each year and the people of Qatar. These workshops serve as a bridge, connecting people through shared creativity, fostering cross-cultural understanding, and preserving the rich heritage of Indonesia.
“We hope that hands-on, accessible engagement allows participants to gain a profound appreciation for the value of tradition, artistry, and craftsmanship, reinforcing the bonds that unite Qatar and Indonesia in a celebration of our thriving creative industries.”
According to QM, the workshops are accessible to participants of all skill levels. Spaces are limited and must be booked in advance through the Qatar Creates website.
During the puppet-making workshop, participants will learn about the Javanese tradition of "straw puppets" called Wayang Suket. They will create their own versions and stage mini-performances.
The 90-minute puppet-making workshops will take place at Liwan. Check the Qatar Creates website for timings. The cost is QR75 and it is for ages 10 and above.
The Batik-making workshops at M7 will uncover the secrets of a centuries-old technique of wax-resistant dyeing, and creating vibrant designs. The one-hour session for ages 10 and above will introduce participants to the Indonesian art of batik, designing a pattern with wax and coloring the material. All guests will take their materials home after the session. The cost is QR50.
The three-hour session for ages 16 and above will focus on creating a pattern and coloring a shawl-sized piece of material. The cost is QR75.
In the ceramics workshop, skilled artisans will guide participants in the intricate art of ceramics, molding clay into beautiful pottery. Participants will be able to take their creations home.
The four-and-a-half-hour ceramics workshops will take place in Liwan. The cost is QR100 and it is for ages 14 and above.
In the dance workshop, participants will learn the Tari Merak dance from West Java and receive an explanation of the philosophy and history of the dance, also known as the Peacock Dance. No prior dance knowledge is required, and participants are advised to wear comfortable gym clothes. The cost is QR50 and it is for ages 16 and above.