Platform promotes art, culture in the Arab world

Hind Joucka and Sama Shahrouri at artmejo's booth in Dar Art 2021. (Photo: Handout from Hind Joucka)
AMMAN – The artmejo online project, started by Hind Joucka as a university project when she was studying in the UK in 2014, focuses on the art scene in Jordan and promotes art and culture throughout the Arab countries.اضافة اعلان

While reporting on, discussing and covering events, lectures and exhibits taking place in Jordan and the Middle East, artmejo also offers corporations, galleries and individuals art consultation and curation services.

Art tours for kids — artwork by Nissa Raad at Wadi Finan Gallery. (Photo: Handout from Hind Joucka)

Joucka, who holds a bachelor’s degree in arts in journalism from Kingston University, told Jordan News that artmejo is “a one-stop for news, interviews, getting to know what is on the upcoming art scene in Jordan,” an umbrella for “everything art and culture happening in Jordan,” and a platform that promotes and covers the art scene in the Arab world. 

Through its different online channels, the artmejo platform communicates with audiences from all around the world on topics about art and culture.

Within the platform, Joucka and Sama Shahrouri launched artmejournal, a digital magazine that features content centered on art from around the world. The magazine provides the readers with the latest news from the world of art, including interviews with artists and cultural figures, exhibition reviews, and articles.

Art tours for kids. (Photo: Handout from Hind Joucka)

Joucka said that artmejo works to document the local and regional art scene, and present to people what is happening.

“After 10 years, we can look back and say we interviewed this artist, or we covered this specific exhibition,” she said.

The artmejo concept evolved beyond documenting art events and publishing online content about anything related to art. Its projects try to fill the gap in the local art and culture scene.

Artists Sama Shahrouri and Mays Dweiri with their artwork at artmejo's booth in Dar Art. (Photo: Handout from Hind Joucka)

“We tried to create projects in order to respond to these gaps,” she said, which should help make artmejo a sustainable business.

Besides artmejo’s promotion and marketing of artists and art galleries, it also covers art exhibitions, on their social media platforms, interviews artists and writes supplementary articles on artmejournal.

“We shed light on the upcoming artists and try to promote them,” she said, adding that artmejo works with artists in order to provide more exposure for them through its networks. Furthermore, artmejo hosts art exhibitions in collaboration with other institutions.

Jordan University Student Exhibition curated by artmejo at Manara Arts & Culture — artwork by Lubna Mousa. (Photo: Handout from Hind Joucka)

Joucka said that upcoming artists have less opportunity to exhibit their work and artmejo works on creating links between artists and art galleries. It also curates exhibitions in partnership with local and regional galleries to secure a large audience for the artists and provides customers with personalized curation services, “in which we conduct comprehensive research within artmejo's network and give them options based on their purpose and budget”. 

“Curation service are offered both for exhibitions and private residences and entities,” she said.

“We work with our partners, which are art galleries, we choose the artworks that suit our client’s vision and we make the link.” 

In addition to art, artmejo consultations range from book publications and organizing campaigns for social change to hosting events, competitions and art symposiums.

Jordan University Student Exhibition curated by artmejo at Manara Arts & Culture — artwork by Reema Shatat. (Photo: Handout from Hind Joucka)

Joucka said that most of the projects have social impact; for example, gender equality, gender-based violence and others community issues are tackled from artists’ perspectives. 

She added that she collaborates with Shahrouri in artmejournal and in content creation for social media platforms.

“It has been five years, but I still consider artmejo to still be in the initial phase of being a startup; the past years were all experimental and trying to understand the market,” she said.

To conduct its work, artmejo depends on contributors from different countries.

“We work with contributors online; they write articles and cover art exhibitions in their countries, they work with us as volunteers,” she said, adding that contributors “believe in artmejo's vision; they approach the website to highlight art, because of the loop of documentation and belief in the project's work”.

Jordan University Student Exhibition curated by artmejo at Manara Arts & Culture — artwork by Salaheddin AlQawasmi.  (Photo: Handout from Hind Joucka)

artmejo also provides educational content through its YouTube channels, such as Haki Fann, an Arabic-language video series that explores art and history, and interviews collectors and artists. 

“Through Haki Fann, we are trying to create fun and easy content that is visually interesting, that talks about Arab artistry, modern Arab art and European art movements,” she said, adding that there is a shortage of Arab art documentation, and the educational content can encourage people to know more about art history. 

Joucka said that the art market in Jordan has been growing over the past couple of years.

“There are so many creative artists and it is really inspiring so we are witnessing something cool, either in visual art or in music, dance, theater and other fields, as we have so much to give.” 

Joucka aims to expand her business by focusing on creating more educational content for youth, and thus share more knowledge about Arab art scene.

Read more Culture and Arts