EU launches Comic Weeks Exhibition in Ras Al-Ain Hangar

Snippets from the Comic Week Exhibition held in Ras Al-Ain Hangar. (Photos: Roaa AbuNada/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Comic Weeks Exhibition re-launched its second edition in Amman, lasting from November 2­—14. The exhibition displays a vast trove of comics which expose unique and revealing international truths through the canvases of the comic collectives.اضافة اعلان

The exhibition, which features the work international comic artists, is organized by the EU in Jordan and the EU National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), in collaboration with the Belgian and Spanish embassies and the Cervantes Institution, to bring the EU and Jordan closer together. 

The EU-funded event takes place at Ras Al-Ain Hangar and is held in collaboration with the Greater Amman Municipality.
The Hangar Exhibition gives Jordanians a fleeting glimpse into not only different comic collectives but also a different angle to issues relevant and rooted in local narratives. 

Snippets from the Comic Week Exhibition held in Ras Al-Ain Hangar. (Photos: Roaa AbuNada/Jordan News)

The exhibition is held under the theme “Women in Comics,” and it aims to feature the way women are represented in comics, both written and illustrated, and how they are treated as characters, while also covering how female artists interpret and develop comics. 

By showcasing comics that promote European art and culture to the Jordanian audience, the exhibition intends to celebrate the history of the “Ninth Art,” its significance in society, as well as debate how it is portrayed as a popular means of expression. 

The comics were created by some of Europe’s most well-known comic artists, and they hold bold and adventurous storytelling features in the hopes of inspiring a new generation of illustrators and writers to create their own comics.

In an official statement, EU Ambassador to Jordan Maria Hadjitheodosiou expressed her enthusiasm for the exhibition: “We are very happy to be able to celebrate European culture in the form of comics, as Europe has a long history in comics and cartoon illustrations. Comics can serve as a universal language that creates bridges between Europe and Jordan and bring their cultures closer. Comics have been reflecting as well as influencing our cultures.” 

She elaborated on how the exhibition’s timing is crucial as a precursor to the first of the 16 Days of Activism, November 25 — also known as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women — is approaching. 

Snippets from the Comic Week Exhibition held in Ras Al-Ain Hangar. (Photos: Roaa AbuNada/Jordan News)

“The EU has always promoted and spoken out about gender equality and women’s rights, including through art in all forms, including comics in this case,” she said.

The embassy of Spain and the Cervantes Institution have invited the critically acclaimed and renowned Spanish illustrators and writers Paco Roca and Laura Pérez Granel to conduct a workshop during the first week of the exhibition that will equip experienced artists with new skills and strategies to enable them to revolutionize the industry in the Kingdom.

The workshop’s theme was “Creation of Graphic Novels” and it was open to local comic artists and amateurs, free of charge. 

The workshop was also held at the Hanger from October 31 to November 4. In order to secure a spot in the highly competitive opportunity, attendees were asked to submit their information and any existing samples in advance.

Juliette Boutant, one of Belgium’s most well-known comic artists, has been invited by the Belgian embassy to lead a workshop for school students during the second week of the exhibition to spark their imaginations and cultivate the next generation of visual storytellers.

Comic magazines and collectives have been on the rise in Jordan. Although that the Art of Comics has long been within the culture for decades. 
Such a rise can be attributed to the people’s desire for escapism that the comics sometimes provide. Comics can sometimes reflect societal dilemmas front and center, they can also mirror the sociopolitical context in which they are created from. Some of the most important significant comics have been those that represented current events.

Snippets from the Comic Week Exhibition held in Ras Al-Ain Hangar. (Photos: Roaa AbuNada/Jordan News)

“Although these comics are in Spanish and some are in French, I could feel them as if they spoke to me. They are so familiar and relatable. This is the first time I go to a comics exhibition, and it definitely won’t be the last. These drawings transcend cultures,” one visitor said after leaving the exhibition. 

She continued: “You look at them and wonder how they can say so much in such limited space. The Hidden Woman by Laura Pérez, stood as one of the most impactful comics, I have seen.”

Another visitor, a Spanish woman learning Arabic in Jordan guided her friend through what some comics present and how they interpret her people’s cultural lexicon. “My favorite work of art is the Return to Eden, as it begins with a normal photograph which describes a precious memory.”

The piece mentioned is Paco Roca’s interpretation of the women in his family, the women who due to their womanhood and their social status were all illiterate. The woman whom he inherited the desire to tell stories. 

Snippets from the Comic Week Exhibition held in Ras Al-Ain Hangar. (Photos: Roaa AbuNada/Jordan News)

 The Comic Weeks Exhibition is an ideal combination of words and pictures and is slowly influencing the return of comics, working so it is no longer an invisible art.

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