Darat al Funun’s Exhibit: Art resists, preserves Palestinian heritage

Darat al Funun’s Exhibit
(Photos: Darat al Funun)
AMMAN – Since 1988, Khalid Shoman Foundation's Darat al Funun has consistently taken a leading role in showcasing artwork, particularly diverse collections from the region. Today, amidst Israel's War on Gaza and the enduring 75-year occupation, art transcends mere aesthetics, becoming a powerful expression of Palestinian cultural heritage, solidarity, and the preservation of life.اضافة اعلان

Luma Hamdan, the director of Darat Al Funun, emphasized the pivotal role of artistic resistance in documenting the Palestinian struggle throughout history: "I believe that artistic resistance throughout the history of the Palestinian struggle has played a crucial role in documenting the reality on the ground," she told Jordan News.

The current exhibition, 'In Solidarity with Palestine,' features voices amplified by artists such as Samira Badran, Jumana Emil Abboud, Rula Halawani, Mona Hatoum, Khaled Hourani, Emily Jacir, Rachid Koraïchi, Abdul Hay Mosallam, Ahmad Nawash, Ismail Shammout, Laila Shawa, Wael Shawky, and Suha Shoman. Noteworthy pieces include Mona Hatoum's portrayal of soldiers in a Ramadan lantern and Jumana Emil Abboud's video “Smuggling Lemons” depicts the challenges of crossing checkpoints from Jerusalem to Ramallah.

Emily Jacir’s video installation "Crossing Surda" documents her daily journey from Ramallah to Bierzeit through the Surda checkpoint, while Rula Halawani's "Negative Incursions" series captures Ramallah during the Israeli invasion in 2002, and in another series by the artist, titled “The Wall”, Halawani documents the construction of the separation wall. Laila Shawa's series, "Walls of Gaza," draws inspiration from writings on Gaza city walls in the 1990s.

These works will be on display until the end of next January 2024, with Darat al Funun organizing informative tours and events for schools, universities, and families.

Suha Shoman's video, Bayyaritna, narrates the violent destruction of her grandfather's grove in Gaza, while Rachid Koraïchi's series, "A Nation in Exile," collaborates with Iraqi calligrapher Hassan Al-Masoudi, intertwining Mahmoud Darwish's poetry and Koraïchi's painting.

Luma Hamdan highlighted the growing interest in reclaiming the Palestinian narrative through its artistic archive, with paintings, videos, and photographs widely shared on social media. She also mentioned the enthusiasm among students to learn about the history of artistic resistance in Palestine.

Moreover, Hamdan noted Darat al Funun's longstanding support for Palestinian and contemporary artists, citing the 2017 program, "Palestine: Civilization Throughout History," dedicated to showcasing the rich aspects of Palestinian civilization. The program included exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, and performances, culminating in the book "Palestine: Civilization Throughout History" in Arabic and English.

Rima Shatat, an art teacher, shared her positive experience with Darat al Funun, emphasizing the gallery's contribution to increasing art in the surrounding areas. She recounted her visit to the exhibition about Gaza, where students and their families expressed keen interest in understanding how art conveys its message. Shatat considered art a powerful means of expression, analysis, and connection to events.

Dr. Joyce Al-Raei, coordinator of UJ's professional diploma in art therapy program, stressed the crucial role of exhibitions and art in conveying messages to future generations. She emphasized the impact of art in raising awareness and urged increased interest in art on a larger scale, emphasizing its role as a form of documentation with deep meaning.

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