Hadeer Omar: And Thereafter


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Al Koot Fort
Ukaz St,
Doha, Qatar
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​Hadeer Omar is an Egyptian new media artist currently residing, teaching and practicing her art in Doha. Omar has been commissioned to produce a contemporary response to the Al Koot Fort, which holds a unique and complex history. Since the fort’s original inception in 1906, and throughout its existence, it has been at a confluence between the historic market area and the seaside port and is now in a central location between Souq Waqif and Msheireb. The artist draws upon the surrounding areas of Souq Waqif as sources of inspiration, weaving together traditional and contemporary aspects of daily life, translating and transforming them into surreal immersive environments.

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Hadeer Omar: And Thereafter

Omar’s installation - And Thereafter - activates Souq Waqif into a dynamic spatial experience that transforms three key areas of Al Koot Fort; ‘The Transition’ (courtyard), ‘The Journey’ (back room), and ‘The Metamorphosis’ (entrance room). She creates a heightened sense of the myriad sensory experiences in the souq through captured images and sounds, all uniquely choreographed in the designated spaces of the fort.   

The narrative unfolds as the spaces are explored in no particular sequence, guided by the experiential elements of aroma, sound, light and imagery. The boundaries between the projected light installations and their narratives, the fort’s architecture, and our physical presence as visitors exploring the space are blurred through Omar’s immersive storytelling and use of captivating technologies in the fort’s environment. The video projections and soundscapes play in an asynchronous loop creating a constantly-renewing, generative experience that evolves over time, celebrating contemporary Qatari heritage, wrapped in Omar’s immersive media dreamscape.   

Hadeer Omar

The Transition  

In the open courtyard of Al Koot Fort, which historically served as a jail for prisoners, the first immersive narrative of And Thereafter commences. The Transition symbolises the point of arrival, allowing visitors to recollect and acclimate to a new mindset before beginning their journey into exploring Omar’s visual languages in the fort’s spaces. The accompanying audio, generated through computers and synthesisers (non-traditional musical instruments), investigates new forms of sound experimentation.  

I start with my own experience of a place first - how do I react to that place? How do I react to the time it embodies? How do I react to this experiment that I am making?

- Hadeer Omar

هدير عمر
هدير عمر

The Journey

The Journey chapter of Hadeer Omar’s Al Koot Fort installation is based on significant touch points from Souq Waqif; porters wheeling their wheelbarrows between bird shops, abaya stores, the Gold Souq and the fragrant spices. Each element is magnified through the immersive videos and sounds, which intensify the visual moments of the souq and the instances that create its character. These elements were chosen as important aspects of the souq experience and collectively create the rhythm and flow of bartering, trading and shopping for the locals, residents and tourists alike. The video projections and soundscapes provide audiovisual experiences that play on asynchronous loops that create a constantly renewing, generative experience.  

I’ve started combining film, photography, VR, AR, mapping - whatever I can do to translate the idea that drives me.

- Hadeer Omar

هدير عمر
هدير عمر

The Metamorphosis  

The Metamorphosis is an accumulated layering of sensory experiences that take us on a journey of ambient sounds and light, followed by rhythmic percussion sounds and a projected video, and ending with a deep plunge into an aroma of various spices. The experience of encountering this succession of rooms is intensified by audio fragments and projected images of moments captured between shop corners, the falcon hospital, and other video vignettes that flow in and out of familiar spaces and places in the souq.

هدير عمر

The artist created And Thereafter in collaboration with Sonic Jeel, an artistic collective exploring hybrid-media, initiated by Michael Hersrud and Simone Muscolino, and multidisciplinary designer Katia Kolovea.  Initiated and organised by Tasweer, this installation is made possible through the partnership with Souq Waqif and the Private Engineering Office.