Picturesque ruins, scenic landscapes, historical colonial buildings, and modern skyscrapers of Panama City as captured on lens by photographer Agustin Goncalves adorn the walls of Katara Cultural Village Building 19 Gallery 1.

Presented by the Embassy of Panama in Qatar and Katara, the exhibition “Panama and the Time: 500 Years Joining Worlds” is a celebration of 500th foundation anniversary of Panama City, an international crossroads famous for the Panama Canal which has been a global gateway and turning point in the development of world trade.

“In 1519 when Panama City was founded by Pedrarias Davila, the city became a stopover point as one of the most important trade routes in the American continent, leading to the fairs of Nombre de Dios and Portobelo in the Atlantic, through which passed most of the gold and silver that Spain took from the Americas. Today, 500 years later the city remains as the main cultural and economic center of the country playing an important role in the world trade as a logistic hub,” said Mousa Abdelhae Asvat Kasu, Ambassador of Panama to Qatar.

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition on Friday, the ambassador highlighted “the similarities between Panama and Qatar, from a sustained economic growth as well as the role of being bridges of geographical connection in our respective regions.”

Picturesque Panama City featured in Katara exhibition

The Ambassador of Panama to Qatar, Mousa Abdelhae Kasvat Kasu (second right); with Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti (centre), General Manager of Katara Cultural Village; and other guests touring ‘Panama and the Time’, a photo exhibition by Agustin Goncalves (second left), at Katara on Friday. Source: Salim Matramkot/The Peninsula Qatar

Born in Argentina, Goncalves has always been passionate about art and photography from a young age and fell in love with Panama City when he moved there 20 years ago.

“I was born in Buenos Aires and I lived in Panama for 20 years and I love it. This exhibition is a collection of 25 photos I have captured during my stay in Panama, which is a mix of culture and some landscapes,” Goncalves told The Peninsula.

As Panama City celebrates its quincentennial founding anniversary, the exhibition aims at showcasing the city to the world, he said. From stunning landscapes and cityscapes to portraits of Panamanian women in elaborate traditional Pollera costumes, Goncalves perfectly captures images which have been deeply ingrained in his heart and soul and visual memory.

This is Goncalves’ second exhibition abroad and he is keen to come back to Doha for another show next year.

Lauding the artist, the envoy said, “As an ambassador and as an architect, I want to highlight the value and commitment of Agustin Goncalves as a professional photographer who shares his talent to the delight of all of us, elevating the art of photography to the maximum expression of beauty, special moments and emotions of our culture.”

“Nowadays worldwide we are experiencing the digital era, in which we spend more time in social media platforms of all kinds, facilitating the communications instantly all over the world. In this sense, photography is a language that everybody in this world can understand, no matter the differences, as images may be processed in our brains faster than words, which is an emerging global culture that reflects the diversity in our development as humans,” said the ambassador.

The exhibition is open to the public until Wednesday.


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