Archive Project

Information Session: Saturday 4 February 2017 at The Lab

Research Period: February- April

Workshops: Every Saturday during the Research period, starting 4 February 2017, from 12- 4 pm at The Lab

Archiving, Visualising, Digitizing, Designing
Darat al Funun is opening up its archive to a team of selected participants in order to explore, develop, and process the events, people, and moments that make up the story of Darat al Funun.

For this project we are looking to put together a dedicated group of participants who are open to look at the material with fresh eyes and to bring various aspects of our archive to life in expected and more unexpected ways. Participants will be required to work collaboratively to document, digitize, and populate the archive, as well as follow leads to collect oral histories, document narratives, and capture moments from Darat al Funun’s history.

Participants will work closely with Darat al Funun staff in this comprehensive research project and will be introduced to the basic concepts of collecting, archiving, and processing historical narratives in the form of photo, video, audio, and written documentation.

The program will consist of group research sessions, round table discussions, visits to research centers, and meetings with artists, practitioners, performers, curators, and architects. Participants will have access to Darat al Funun’s library, publications, and a wealth of video footage, photographs, and texts that make up the archive of Darat al Funun, including documentation of historic talks and events, and documentation of process work.

Darat al Funun: Art, Architecture and Archaeology
Darat al Funun traces its beginning to 1988, when artist Suha Shoman led an initiative in support of contemporary artists from Jordan and the Arab world. Over the years, group and solo exhibitions for both established and emerging artists were organised, creating a stimulating environment and a meeting place for artists seeking support and dialogue. A program of talks and lectures, residencies and workshops combined art practices with art theory and education. Performances, film screenings, concerts, and cultural events brought the visual arts in harmony with other forms of self-expression.

Darat al Funun opened its Main Building in 1993, and is now housed in six renovated historical buildings with a restored archaeological site in the garden. The buildings each tell their own stories, providing a backdrop to many of the narratives that still impact the artists of today. Darat al Funun's houses were built by Jordanian, Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese families, and together hold the history of the city of Amman and the shared history of the region – the Bilad al-Sham. By saving and restoring abandoned historic buildings and antiquities, Darat al Funun also contributed to preserving Jordan's architectural and cultural heritage.

Darat al Funun has amassed a wealth of archival material covering the period from 1988 to the present, and historical documentation of the development of Jordan through the lens of art, archaeology, and architecture. As Darat al Funun approaches its 30th anniversary, the space, the buildings, and its history of events, performances, exhibitions, and ideas are as important as the people that have passed through the place and influenced its rich history.