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HIWAR - Conversations in Amman

Artists from the Arab world, Africa, Asia, Latin America. Darat al Funun, Nov. 2013 - April 2014. Curator: Adriano Pedrosa. Photo tour, including all the 29 artists at 7 buldings.
Dec 2013

Photo Tour through the exhibition
Works by all the artists at seven buildings of Darat al Funun

HIWAR - Conversations in Amman is an exhibition, residencies, and talks program organized by Darat al Funun to celebrate 25 years of support for the arts. HIWAR brought 14 artists from the Arab world, Africa, Asia, and Latin America to Amman for residencies in September and October 2013, culminating in an exhibition that opened on 9 November 2013. The exhibition also features works from The Khalid Shoman Collection by Abdul Hay Mosallam, Ahlam Shibli, Ahmad Nawash, Akram Zaatari, Amal Kenawy, Emily Jacir, Etel Adnan, Fahrelnissa Zeid, Hrair Sarkissian, Mona Hatoum, Mona Saudi, Mounir Fatmi, Nicola Saig, Rachid Koraïchi, and Walid Raad.

HIWAR (meaning conversation in Arabic) is born out of the necessity to promote exchanges between artists from the margins, not solely by juxtaposing their works in an exhibition or publication format, but also by giving them the possibility to learn from each other's practices and experiences. Large-scale exhibitions and biennales have brought together works from different regions beyond Euroamerica, yet often artists do not have a chance to immerse themselves in this exchange.

HIWAR proposes a more intense format, with a small number of artists spending a month in Amman in two sessions (in September and in October 2013). The focus was to develop conversations between the participants, who presented and discussed their work and context with their colleagues during the residencies, in the lead up to the exhibition. The core conversations were led by Adriano Pedrosa, curator of HIWAR, and Eline van der Vlist, artistic director of Darat al Funun, proposing to avoid the format of the artist being invited to conduct a residency in order to make new work in response to the new locale in which s/he finds him or herself, and instead to learn in and from Amman - as well as from Beirut, Cairo, Cuzco, Hanoi, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Luanda, Manila, Mumbai, Ramallah, Recife, and São Paulo.

There is no all encompassing theme or concept linking all the artists and their works in HIWAR beyond the artist's geo-cultural origins and positions (shifting as these may be). Yet, such positions are also somehow loaded and revealing. One could think along the lines of the Argentine semiotician Walter Mignolo, I Am Where I Think.


Bisan Abu-Eisheh
* 1985 Jerusalem. Lives in London and Jerusalem.

Jonathas de Andrade
* 1982 Maceió, Brazil. Lives in Recife, Brazil.

Hemali Bhuta
* 1978 Mumbai, India; lives there.

Aslı Çavuşoğlu
* 1982 Istanbul, Turkey; lives there.

Shuruq Harb
* 1980 Ramallah, Palestine; lives there.

Clara Ianni
* 1987 São Paulo, Brazil; lives there.

Saba Innab
* 1980 Kuwait; Palestinian. Lives in Amman, Jordan, and Beirut, Lebanon.

Kiluanji Kia Henda
* 1979 Luanda, Angola; lives there.

Asunción Molinos Gordo
* 1979 Aranda de Duero, Spain. Lives in Cairo, Egypt.

Nguyên Phuong Linh
* 1985 Hanoi, Vietnam; lives there.

Daniela Ortiz
* 1985 Arequipa, Peru. Lives in Barcelona, Spain.

Thabiso Sekgala
* 1981 Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa. Lives in Johannesburg.

Rayyane Tabet
* 1983 Ashqout, Lebanon. Lives in Beirut, Lebanon.

Maria Taniguchi
* 1981 Dumaguete City, Philippines. Lives in Manila, Philippines.


Adriano Pedrosa
Independent curator, editor, and writer currently based in São Paulo, Brazil. He has curated numerous international exhibitions and was co-curator of the 27th Bienal de São Paulo (2006) and of the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011). He has published extensively on contemporary art in numerous catalogues and journals, and is the founding director of Programa Independente da Escola São Paulo.


Conversations at the margins
with Adriano Pedrosa, Bisi Silva, Pedro Léon de la Barra, Suha Shoman, and Vali Mahlouji

On Sunday 10 November 2013 HIWAR curator Adriano Pedrosa led a conversation between curators working at the margins about the challenges they face while working through the margins, considering South-South connections, center-periphery flows, and the necessity to come up with new modes and models to look and think about art in these contexts. The interest in these conversations – which he started in written form published in Mousse Magazine in 2013 – reflect a concern to establish connections and dialogues between artists and curators at the margins. Pedrosa writes: "I strongly believe that the South-South connections remain largely unexplored and in them lie the richest paths."


Darat al Funun is a home for the arts and artists from the Arab world. It traces its beginnings to the opening of a non-profit gallery in Amman in 1988, and is now housed in six renovated historical buildings with a restored archaeological site in the garden. Darat al Funun organizes exhibitions, talks, film screenings and educational programs, hosts performances and concerts, offers a PhD fellowship and artist residencies, and publishes books and catalogues.

(From the curatorial introduction by Adriano Pedrosa and press information)

Conversations in Amman

An exhibition, residencies, and talks program
9 November 2013 - 30 April 2014

Organized by Darat al Funun to celebrate 25 years of support for the arts

Curator: Adriano Pedrosa

Darat al Funun

The Khalid Shoman Foundation

13 Nadeem al Mallah St.
Jabal al Weibdeh

Founder and Chair: Suha Shoman


Artistic Director: Eline van der Vlist

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