Muscat – As Oman celebrates its 51st National Day, people in the art and creative fields ponder on what they look forward to in the next 50 years. They envisage a country firmly placed on the world’s arts map.
Dr Khalid al Zadjali
Oman has excellent locations for shooting; it is a paradise for filmmakers. In the next 50 years, I would like to see a film academy in the country – an educational institute with world-class studios, special effects and post-production facilities. It will have teachers from different parts of the world training the next generation of filmmakers and technicians. These plans have been on paper for long; I want these to be implemented soon. We want more studios from Hollywood to come, shoot, produce as well as invest in Oman.
Having lived in Oman for more than 20 years, I feel Oman’s art culture seems to blow hot and cold, quite difficult to predict its growth pattern for the next few years. Art appreciation in Oman is not yet entrenched in the local society. However, the general trajectory is on an upward trend albeit with slow growth. With the government’s effort to develop the tourism industry, art culture will certainly grow in tandem. Therefore, I would like to see more aggressive efforts channelled into the tourism sector because art in any society is inspired by local attractions, especially traditional culture and heritage on the side of supply, and a vibrant tourism market on the demand side. Bundled with the future of the tourism industry, and the planned development of Oman into a modern state, I foresee a fully developed art culture with world-class art galleries in virtually every wilayat in Oman in the next 50 years.
I would love to see Oman promote local artistes and support them through workshops and activities, giving them scope to grow and perform at cultural events. We need to consider music as a career path, not just a hobby. There are many opportunities for artistes and we must open them up for our young generation.
Being an artist in Oman, I am happy about Oman’s art scene, especially the contribution made by the Omani Society for Fine Arts, and Omani youth art studios. To encourage development, setting up government-owned art galleries to showcase young talent is a welcome idea. There is a great need to promote and help traditional Arabic art grow. There are many talented artists in the country who need support to showcase their art. Additionally, contemporary artists/sculptors need encouragement to fuse their talent with traditional ones. Art – traditional and modern – should be taught in schools in a manner that will help create appreciation among the young. Universities should include all forms of art in their curriculum. There must be a coordinated effort to nourish Oman’s own unique traditional designs – whether its architecture, jewellery, textiles, calligraphy or sculpture – all under one roof. I wish that Oman’s arts field shines, dazzling all with its vibrant colours.
Mohammad Ali Darwshi
Oman is in the process of making good movies and in the last few years, there has been much progress in the arts scene. I want to see more documentary films made. We must understand that finance is a big issue in making films. In the future, we must have funding from private companies and not dependent only on the government. Also, we need more support from the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism and Ministry of Information.