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What do we need to know about the MENA region today?

Samah Hijawi
1 June 2011

Documents for a Narrative of Art History of Jordan

Samah Hijawi

Documents for a Narrative of Art History of Jordan, 2010-ongoing

Multi-media project 

Video excerpt, 1'40"

Courtesy of the artist


This ongoing research project is concerned with different aspects that have influenced the development of visual art practices in Jordan over the last 60 years. It uses multi-media practices as tools by which various ideas and elements are dissected.


The experimental videos and text-based works realised so far incorporate archives, interviews and other documents piecing together a set of propositions and incidences that become starting points for a historical narrative. They focus on the connections between Jordan, Iraq and Palestine and suggest different areas through which the aesthetics and subjects dealt with in Jordanian visual art from 1950 to 2000 can be contemplated.


These works also seek to question the art historian’s position as the author/authority in formal art historical writing by voicing different agents in narrating this history.

Samah Hijawi

Samah Hijawi is a multi media artist, writer and curator living and working between Jordan and Belgium. Since 2005 she has collectively managed Makan Art Space in Jordan with Ola El Khalidi and Diala Khasawnih, and co-curates the on-going platform The River has Two Banks with Toleen Touq and Shuruq Harb. Her artistic projects have been presented in Darat Al Funun; the Khalid Shoman Foundation, Jordan, MoMA, USA, Beirut Art Center, Lebanon and Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Germany among others.

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A platform is a space for speaking in public. It is an opportunity to express ideas and thoughts. It also suggests the formal declaration of a stance or position on any given subject.

Unique to Ibraaz is a 'platform', a question put to writers, thinkers and artists about an issue relevant to the MENA region. This platform is sent to respondents both within and beyond the MENA region and contributions will be archived every 12 months.