The port in coastal cities is a meeting point for strangers passing by for travel, commerce or tourism. Ports usually thrive with commercial services customised for visitors or workers from the area. Hotels, tailors and markets usually surround the seaport, as well as entertainment venues that accommodate to the variety of visitors and their myriad preferences and desires. There is no sea in Amman, but there are land ports for the passers-by that were previously confined to certain areas but have since expanded since and reached sporadic spots around the city.
How did the entertainment industry develop in the city? How have the forms and dynamics of artistic production evolved over time? And how do we connect with our sonic culture and its roots? Who would sing for the revellers in Amman? And what was being broadcasted to the public on radio since 1956?
“Port of Amman” is a research-based workshop exploring the art of entertainment in Amman throughout various historical phases. The workshop aims to investigate the unofficial history of entertainment production in the city in relation to populist folk culture, and dialectics of power, place and consumption.
Participants will meet twice a week over the course of 1 month to research archival materials and explore the impact of sonic entertainment cultures on the city.
'Port of Amman' forms the nucleus of artist Firas Hamdan’s Radio 7awi project. The various stages of this research will be documented to produce a series of podcasts focusing on the history of entertainment art in Jordan. The workshop is part of the first phase of our 2019 program At The Lab, bringing together artists and cultural practitioners exploring sound, listening and sonic practices in relation to forms of collective agency, alternative socialities and the emergence of milieus.
Firas Hamdan (1989) lives and works in Amman. Hamdan is a researcher interested in urbanism and in exploring his relationship to different cities. His works focuses on understanding cities beyond their physicality, driven consistently by a curiosity for investigating societal meanings and insignificant events of everyday life.