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The Identity of our beloved city Amman has become the safe haven for those who came to escape wars, and others in search for better opportunities in life. Amman has embraced them all to become part of it.
A homeland for many began on it’s river side, with memories on it’s stairs and streets, to expand with time far beyond it’s seven hills.
The stories of the people of Amman surrounded our hearts, attaching us more and more to our home city, their memories and tears overwhelmed us with it’s recent history, that enrich thousands of years.
A project by Darat Al Tasweer, combining research, photography, video and music production reflecting the Identity of our city Amman
Project team; Linda Al Khoury, Rasha Amer and Husam Manasrah
Music production and performance; Artist Hind Hamed & musician Zaid Mansour

Traces of Exile
Tomas van Houtryve

How do refugees portray themselves? To explore this question, ‘Traces of Exile’ layers landscapes along the refugee trail through Europe with small Instagram selfies geo-tagged to the same location, capturing the intersection of the refugees’ online presence and the locations of their exile. The project was commissioned by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) with support from the Pulitzer Center.

Tomas van Houtryve is a photographer, author and conceptual artist. His work often combines long-term journalistic investigation, innovative image-making processes and philosophical concepts. His photographic prints and video installations are displayed by major venues including the ICP Museum in New York, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Berlin Museum for Photography. He is the winner of the ICP Infinity Award, the World Press Photo and the Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents. Van Houtryve is a member of VII Photo.

From Jordan River to Desert, Landscape and People
Jean-Michel de Tarragon

The exhibition presents a great collection of old images from the archives of the Biblical school of Jerusalem, reflecting the identity of Jordan; places and people

Jean-Michel de Tarragon, born 1945 in France. He became a Catholic priest in 1972. Since 1973 he is in East-Jerusalem as a permanent member of the French Ecole Biblique. He studied cuneiforms (PhD) and old canaanite languages, teached ancient history connected to the Bible. He participated in the archaeological digs of the Ecole Biblique since 1973, and became the assistant photographer of the archaeological activities of Ecole - in Jordan and in the Gaza Strip. Retired from active teaching, he is now full time in charge of the photo-collection of the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem. His scanned collection reached in 2017 the total of 25,000 scans of old photos of mainly Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Jean-Michel organized over twenty-five photo-exhibitions.

Stéphane Herbert

Imaginals is a compilation of some photographs drawn from journeys to the East and the West. From the towering Pamir mountains in Tajikistan to the shores of lake Atitlan in Guatemala, from patterned weavings of the Mayas to abstract mosaics of the Islamic East, from the mystic devotees of Herat to the visionary architects of Brasília - My aim is to photograph lands and their peoples, societies and their traditions. Through long-term exploration, I try to convey images of the current world’s cultural diversity.

Photographer for more than twenty-five years, Stéphane Herbert has worked for magazines (Géo, Grands Reportages...) and book publishers (Éditions du Patrimoine, Solar...). His favourite subjects treat themes linked to contemporary civilizations. Author of the books "MONGUEN de cordillera a mar", portraits of Mapuche elders of Chile (Globe Vision, 2012) and "villes rêvées, villes habitées / URBAN UTOPIAS / La Grande Motte - Brasília - Chandigarh" (Somogy éditions d'Art, 2015). He has exhibited in France (UNESCO, Galerie Blanche...), Brazil (Museu Nacional, Espaço Cultural 508 Sul...), India and Japan (Alliance française). In 2014, his serie "IMAGINALS" joined the collections of the Istanbul Photography Museum.

A Story About Her
Charlotta Sparre

Through her photographs Charlotta Sparre shares her love and passion for the Middle East and North Africa. Building on a technique of double exposed photographs, the combined pictures create something both familiar and dreamlike - this time in “A Story About Her”. Who am I? Who are you? Who are we as a collective? How do we define ourselves and what defines us? What is identity? How much of our identity is our own creation, how much a reflection of society around us?

Born in Sweden, Charlotta Sparre's professional life has for the last almost 25 years focused on the Middle East and North Africa, including postings in Libya, Egypt and Jordan and extensive travelling all over the region. She has lived in Cairo since 2013 where she serves as the Ambassador of Sweden. Charlotta has an active and intense interest in political history, humanitarian issues and the contemporary challenges facing the region. Driven by both an insatiable fascination with her surroundings and a limitless curiosity, she manages to explore the dynamics of life wherever she resides.

Art residency
Amélie Losier

During a 15 days artist residency, and parallel to giving a four days photography workshop on Portrait Photography, Amélie Losier intends to produce a portrait-series, focusing on gender-issue and the notion of "generations".

Amélie Losier was born in Versailles, France. She studied german literature and civilization in Paris and documentary photography with Arno Fischer in Berlin. Her work comprises street photography, reportage, portraits and photofilms. Losier is living and working as a freelanced photographer in Berlin.

Carlota Escribano

Dunes stem from the need of recording my own time. The need of releasing my own unrepeatable experience as it consumes my life and fills it up. The Dunes speaks about the distancing of those who learn from themselves. My work is the result of a profound inquest of painting through dialogue with the image and occasionally writing. I sketch my paintings through the photographic lens. On the photographic image – or through it – I apply paint and other materials so as to distort or to extend concepts. Stories filled with truths and exaggerations. They are small samples of unfinished tales. I write and paint my time, gathering paintings, pictures and writings.

Born in Madrid, Spain, in 1978, Carlota is a visual artist whose work is mainly focused on painting and photography. She graduated in Fine Arts in Universidad Complutense and her works have been exhibited in cities like London, Basel, Laren or Belgrade. Carlota recently won the Artistas del Barrio Award in Madrid, where she currently lives and work.

Identity Pre-1948
Oqba Faraj

What does our birthplace mean to us? the place that we were displaced from because of the Zionist occupation?

What first days and years of our lives carries of beautiful memories inside is, and of dreams for a future that turned its course to a vague start engulfed by the hopes of return.

Born in Amman in 1972 of Palestinian origins, Oqba was attracted to photography at a young age. He studied photography at the University of Baghdad before he was forced to stop after the war erupted. He worked in commercial photography for years and developed his identity with artistic projects specializing in nature photography before taking on documentary projects.

The End
Raed Asfour

A photo collection of cinema theaters that was once part of the city of Amman. It is an attempt at recalling a lost part of the city's cultural identity which cinema theaters took part in creating during the 80's and 90's of the last century. At that point, there were more than 15 cinema theaters screening various films on a daily basis, with a Showtime schedule published daily in the local newspapers. There were audiences of all ages and classes, frequently attending film screenings.

Cinema had an important part in creating the city's culture and in developing its inhabitants’ sense of aesthetics. Cinema theaters in Amman had an old history which began with the city’s establishment, a witness to a beautiful era gone by.

A director, a scene designer and an amateur photographer, "The End" is his second exhibition. The idea behind the exhibition came to him after working with a group of artists and cultural activists on the restoration of 'Cinema Jordan' in 2005, which reopened as "Al-Balad Theater"; operating as a cultural center and an independent theater.

Papers to Cross
Shermine Sawalha

Time, captured.
A paper with a picture of oneself, keeps a moment intact.
A memory of you, who you are at one point in your life.
Proof that you are worthy to cross an imaginary line.
Only that version of you is brave enough to wait their turn, then be filed.
Tucked away, and left to rot, while you are set free.

A visual and performance artist, producer, curator of arts and culture and an entrepreneur. Founder of Ctrllab: Montreal Art House [Canada] and Malahi Entertainment Inc. [Jordan]. Her extensive study of the entertainment industry in the region helped cater for the drives and needs of the artists and the audience, building a playground for the underground culture to thrive in while educating the public through entertainment. Multitask, Treasure Hunter.

Displaced worshipper
Alessio Mamo

A journey through the Iraqi Christian’s religious celebrations, the displacement and the resilience in facing devastation and the ISIS’s tentative of annihilation, resisting as minority in a still far to reconcile and to stabilize Iraq.

A project by Alessio Mamo and Marta Bellingreri

Alessio Mamo is a Sicilian freelance photographer based in Catania, Italy. He extensively covers issues related to refugee displacement and migration. His photos are published in magazine such as Time, Der Spiegel and Newsweek. He is represented by Redux Pictures worldwide.

Beyond Sacrifice
Carmen Yahchouchy

Samia was born and raised in Lebanon. Like many other Lebanese of her generation, she survived a civil war that had an indelible impact on family structures, especially the evolving role of women. Many of these women now live to tell the stories of what became their routines of aloneness. Decisions were made for them; they were compelled to live lives beyond sacrifice, eventually leading to profound loneliness.
These hostesses of solitude may have built up imaginary images of themselves as wives and mothers, but each later faced reality and escaped to the career path –where they all proved themselves.

Born in Bamako, Mali in 1993, Carmen Yahchouchy has been in love with photography for as long as she can remember. Sensitive by nature and passionate about sociology, Ms.Yahchouchy ventures into the intimate spaces of human experience, propelling the spectator into the unique universe of each of her subjects.
I was often compared to my aunt Samia when I was growing up, with various family members telling me something along the lines of, “your heart is too sweet Carmen, like your aunt. Be careful.”

B as Bouchentouf
Fethi Sahraoui

Born in 1996, Bouchentouf is my cousin from the paternal side, he is the youngest boy in a family of nine. Like the most of his brothers he is a redhead, Bouchentouf was diagnosed with a mental disease at an early stage in his life, quit school just after two years of studying in a primary school and lost his father at the age of five.

Born in 1993, in the southern town of Hassi R'mel, Fethi Sahraoui is a self-taught social documentary photographer, raised by his grandmother. Fethi is currently I’m preparing a master degree in 'American Civilization' in the university of his home town Mascara. Fathi’s passion for photography came from all what is visual around his especially cinema. At the age of 19 Fethi bought his first camera and started wandering and wondering, today he is a member of the 220 Collective. His quest is to document Algeria.

Behind the Veil
Marwan Tahtah

The first time my friend decided to remove her veil was also her last. She wore it back the next day and never dared to remove it again. That day was the starting point of my experience and project. For her, it was temporary freedom. My project started a year and a half ago after I met a number of women from Beirut and other regions who had removed their veil. The concept of women removing their veil had become an interesting matter.

A professional photographer who's been working for Lebanese newspapers for more than 10 years. Besides his own projects, he has also worked on projects managed by the ICRC, Goethe-Insitut and other organizations. Marwan’s work has been on display in many photography exhibitions in Beirut & Paris. In June 2016, he received a Master Diploma in Photography from the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles, France.

In memory with
Patrick Mouzawak

A series of reconstructed realities of friends and family members living in Europe, based on stories they have shared through correspondence such as Skype sessions, emails and text messages. The data was used to help reconstruct a personal perception of each person, where they are and how they have adapted to their new environment.

Patrick Mouzawak is a photographer currently living in beirut, Lebanon. he has exhibited in several galleries across the country and has received international recognition and awards for his photography. When he’s not traveling and on the streets with his camera he is active among the integration efforts of the lebanese art scene an unofficial collaboration between photography, music, visual art, performance by recording through image and film.

Dalieh, on the Edge
Roï Saade

In Beirut, Dalieh is the city’s last natural outcrop and public space where the public can freely access the coast line for their own recreational purposes. But today, this last remaining informal public space is on the edge of disappearing, as the land is being given over to big developers with plans for the construction of a private resort.

Born and raised in Lebanon, Roï Saade worked for many years with local and international agencies in branding and advertising. Visual perception and curiosity led him to leave the corporate world to follow his own dreams. Roï uses photography as a tool to access places where he doesn’t belong, to connect with strangers but also to keep distance from and observe life in its form and content.

House, 1922
Alaa Bani Yaseen

A house that smells of authenticity and heritage, in which there is a room, a kitchen, a mattress, and an old woman with a rosary, safeguarding our identity with a gold tooth and a straw griddle inherited from her mother.

As a daughter of father from a village in Irbid and a mother of Palestinian origins, this mixture influenced me in creating my cultural identity. I was born in December 1992. I dedicated myself to photography after receiving my bachelor’s degree in media studies. I worked as a photography instructor for girls in 2016, and my photographs were exhibited in a cultural space in Irbid.
Documenting what is old in my society became my passion.

Momen Malkawi

Downtown is the seed that Irbid grew from; I only feel that I belong there. This is probably what made me look for the identity of my city in the first place, starting from downtown. Irbid lacks the simplest forms of public spaces that unite its citizens at the end of each working day, and the cafe substitutes as their second home, where its patrons retrieve back at night what they have lost during the day. Sun-burnt faces appear through shisha smoke, and the voice of Umm Kulthum rises. This is the heart of the city.

I always used my camera to try and break barriers between people. I was always interested in humans relationship to their society, city and social incubator. In trying to know more stories about the residents of my country, I was and still am a member of a photography team called 'Humans of Amman'. I did various documentary photography projects around the city, capturing what happening. Documentary photography predominates the nature of my subjects, despite my reverence to all art forms.