March 9, 2021 - Darat al Funun–The Khalid Shoman Foundation - Postcolonial Ecologies
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March 9, 2021

Darat al Funun–The Khalid Shoman Foundation

Mohammad Hawajri, Animal Farm, 2012. Acrylic on Canvas, 203 x 191 cm.

Postcolonial Ecologies
March 9–September 30, 2021

Darat al Funun–The Khalid Shoman Foundation
9 Moh'd Ali al Saadi St. Jabal al Weibdeh
Amman 11118
Jordan
Hours: Saturday–Thursday 10am–7pm

T +962 6 464 3251
online@daratalfunun.org

daratalfunun.org
online.daratalfunun.org
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Postcolonial Ecologies opens with a presentation by the curators on March 9, 2021 at 6pm (Amman time). Unfolding through an exhibition, online residency, public program and Summer Academy, the exhibition project discusses and reflects on essential ecological questions, addressing how colonial practices and extractive economies have affected/contaminated the natural environments of indigenous peoples and native ecosystems. Departing from the epistemic violence enacted through dominant technologies of measurement and calculation that subdue life forms to market logic, Postcolonial Ecologies unearths indigenous knowledge systems rooted in conceptions of nature and land as sources of life and subsistence. Thinking with Fanon, participants are invited to engage in critical readings of decolonization and to speculate on life futures that acknowledge land as "the most essential value," its humus at once a carrier of collective memory/trauma and a site of anticolonial resurgence and regeneration. Against a modern grammar of predation and extraction, the multifaceted program invokes other worlds in the making, exploring radical forms of social organisation that centre mutual aid and more-than-human collaboration.

Curators: Joud Al-Tamimi, Firas Shehadeh and Reem Marji. 

Exhibition
Featuring works from the Khalid Shoman Collection, the main exhibition opens on May 22, 2021 in the Main Building, Darat al Funun at 6pm. Participating artists include Ali Jabri, Ahmad Nawash, Amal Kenawy, Asunción Molinos Gordo, Etel Adnan, Gouider Triki, Jananne Al-Ani, Jumana Emil Abboud, Laila Shawa, Maha Mustafa, Moataz Nasr, Mohammad Hawajri, Mona Hatoum, Nicola Saig, Rachid Koraïchi, Samia Halaby, Vladimir Tamari and Wael Shawky.

The exhibition will also feature works from outside the collection, including commissions by local artists responding to the conceptual framework of the project. The full line-up will be announced in the coming months.

The Lab Residency 
As part of the online activities under Postcolonial Ecologies, a web residency will be taking place between March 1-May 30, 2021. Engaging with concepts of futurity, world sharing and more-than-human commons, the final projects will be exhibited on our online space.

Resident artists include Mays AlBeik, Nadine Fattaleh and Ali Eyal.

Public Program
The exhibitions will be accompanied by a range of learning activities and discursive events including lectures, seminars, workshops and performances designed to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and carve up new spaces for engagement, conversation and exchange. 

The public program also features a collaboration with our current fellow, Kareem Estefan, who has been invited to curate a monthly series. Positioning the speculative practice of worldbuilding as a poetic act of repairing present and future ecologies in the wake of imperial violence, this series will present artists, writers, and scholars who think beyond “green futures” to imagine a world transformed by decolonization and de-growth, a world that cultivates structures of care and kinship beyond the figure of the human. 

Invited guests include T. J. Demos, Muna Dajani, Vivien Sansour, Maryam Monalisa Gharavi, Nadya Sbaiti and many more. 

Summer Academy
Darat al Funun’s upcoming Summer Academy program will be taking place from June 1-July 30, 2021.

The academy offers participants the space to develop their art practice within a critical setting that encourages experimentation, knowledge-sharing, and communal learning. This year’s program will be curated around a set of fundamental questions concerning ecological crisis, systems of value, and life futures, in light of which the participants will explore new conceptual and aesthetic strategies that entangle both artistic and ecological practices.

The two month program comprises three different chapters: Rewilding Pedagogy, Witnessing and Worldbuilding in the Wake and The View from “No Man’s Land.”

Rewilding Pedagogy takes the act of "rewilding" as its point of departure, rewilding the soil from the ravages of monoculture agriculture, and rewilding local knowledge cultures from colonization and encroaching neoliberalism. It is an approach for envisioning new networks, systems, and processes that can mediate new spatial and social configurations essential for new political, socio-economic, environmental and material realities. 

Witnessing and Worldbuilding in the Wake explores theories of witnessing that look beyond the discourses of social trauma and international law, drawing instead from artistic and social practices of “fabulation,” “speculation,” and “worldbuilding.” Attuning ourselves to the distinct temporary conditions of disaster experienced by different communities, we will seek modes of “witnessing as worldbuilding” that challenge the “capitalist realism” identified by the British cultural critic Mark Fisher, in which “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.”

The program concludes with The View from “No Man’s Land,” which looks at post-colonial effects on ecology, the discourse around the "Anthropocene," digitality, ecological struggle, computation, aesthetics and value. Examining the interactions between native ecosystems and colonial contamination and the ways in which this affects life, we will look at post-conceptual art practices/contemporary art through the prism of ecological thinking.

Invited faculty members include Sahar Qawasmi and Nida Sinnokrot (Sakiya), Jumana Emil Abboud, Salah Hassan, Kareem Estefan, Firas Shehadeh, Islam Khatib (WikiGender Collective), Reef Fakhouri, Nujood Ashour and Dina Bataineh (Taghmees Collective).

Darat al Funun - The Khalid Shoman Foundation
2018 marked our 30th anniversary. Our story goes back to 1988, when we launched an initiative to support the arts and artists of Jordan and the Arab world. Today, we are a home for the arts housed in six renovated historical buildings and warehouses, with a restored archaeological site in the garden. Darat al Funun actively pursues its mission in providing a platform for contemporary Arab artists. We support art practices and artistic exchange. We stimulate critical discourse and research. Our fellowship for the study of modern and contemporary Arab art was launched in 2011. The Lab is open to projects by emerging artists. We program educational activities for young people and students, including our annual Summer Academy. Our art library, publications, films, and digital archives are open for research and documentation.

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