Shatana: Contemporary art meets ancient village


Just some images from my trip to Shatana on Friday, to attend the open day of the Shatana International Artists Workshop.

More info and images to follow..



  1. Ohoud says:

    I believe I saw you there:)

    I’m curious to know how you found the displays:)

  2. The Observer says:

    If that is Art, then I know nothing!

    I was really disappointed for going this far in order to see this!

  3. Humeid says:

    A would disagree with you, Observer.

    I too was a bit underwhelmed by the art. But there was some interesting work. If modern installation art is not your thing I can understand you disappointment. But I found a number of the installations really good (like the spinning disks, the house with voices and photos and the colored cloth carried by children across the streets.

    The village itself was beautiful too. And I liked the whole buzz and atmosphere..

  4. The Observer says:

    I guess that I don’t really inderstand modern installation art. They would have done a better job with a little bit more effort.

    But, it is good to know, that actually there were some people who liked it :)

  5. Fartist says:

    Hello all,
    glad to hear of the slightest discussion on art, I was also at the event, and I thought the varied works were interesting. I think installation / conceptual art is fun in that provokes thought, vs what we are used to getting out of art which is usually a pretty painting.

  6. Diala Shatana Workshop artist and organiser says:

    Hello Everyone,

    thank you Humeid for such good photos.

    Like Fartist, i am glad to read the discussion over this event. I would like to tell you a little about it. a group of us artists got together after one of us attended a triangle workshop in lebanon and we decided to have one here in jordan. something which has not happened before. this workshop is about inviting a group of mid career artists to come together for two weeks and talk. talk about their work, about life, about being artists and work. work in relation to the space and the environment and probably make site specific work. this workshop is as concerned with the artists’ meeting and exchange as it is with them interacting with the immediate space and working. there is no pressure to achieving complete work, as the workshop focuses on the process of making art. artists got involved with Shatana as a village and its people.

    we were very happy about the open day. the turn out was great, we did not expect so many to show up. Shatana people were, many of them, as excited as we were.

    art is so big, and i do not think we need to understand it all. and surely not to like it all. it was fun being part of organising this event, it was fun being in shatana and it was fun doing this work.

    for more information on this sort of workshop, please check

    again, glad to be part of a discussion on art

  7. Diala Shatana Workshop artist and organiser says:

    i want to add that this event was in cooperation with Makan. for further info check

  8. Hello everyone

    Just a little comment about the workshop and workshops in general.

    As Diala has already pointed out part of the point of artists coming to these workshops is to give the chance for participants (artists) to exchange dialogue and ideas about practice. For many they are coming to a place they have little or no experience of. As artists in a new and culturally different environment we try to understand what is around us and to interpret it in different ways to try and make sense of what we see and hear. It also gives us (the artists) the chance to perhaps try something we have not done before, different to our usual practice. eg. a painter makes there first video.

    There is an intensity here in what is only a short period of time (2 weeks) that can often lead people to take risks and experiment in ways that perhaps they might not do in their usual practice. This is often of fundamental importance post-workshop.

    In the shatana workshop especially i think the dialogue between the artists and the local inhabitants was extremely important. There was a point where we realized the locals understood the work better than some of the visitors from nearby Amman. They could make sense of it because they knew where it was coming from and could connect with it. It will be interesting to see what impact this workshop has on the inhabitants and them on us on the future. Long may it continue!

  9. Alessio Antoniolli says:

    I was at the opening of Shatana and really enjoyed both the event and the work on show. I think I understand why ‘observer’ and Humeid were a bit underwhelmed about the art. I don’t think it has to do with being, or not, the most knowledgeable about contemporary art. We are all used to enter museums that show art in a very theatrical and monumental way. Shatana was millions of miles from that. Importantly, the event was not an exhibition as it would have been unfair on the artists to expect them to make the ‘ultimate piece of work’ in two weeks. As an ‘Open Day’ the idea was to see work (often in process) that had been developed around the site of the workshop, to see how artists attempted a response to a new and extremely stimulating context. What I found particularly inspiring about this workshop was how many of the artists had spent time with people from the local community to hear and express issues surrounding everyday life in the town. The resulting work was not a precious thing that can be singled out and placed in a white gallery, that as viewer we either like or don’t understand. Instead, at Shatatna, it was a small intervention, an action, a small comment that you encounter walking around the town that provoked a double-take on the town itself. The way artists and local people worked together during the two weeks was visible in the work. I found that extraordinary.

  10. Sawaqed says:

    I am just glad to see my village, shatana, as a center point of art. I wish you guys had more pictures.

  11. [...] Tomorrow Tuesday July 15th, Amman’s International Book Fair will open at the Arab Community College, across the street from the Jordan University Hospital. Around 500 publishers are participating this year, local, regional, and international, with close to 130,000 Arabic titles and 35,000 foreign language titles. I think it will last 10 days, till the 25th, but I should double check that.In other activities, a photography exhibition by Charles Parker titled “Bath Water Blues” opens tomorrow at Darat Al Tasweer (in Jabal Luweibdeh), at 7:00 pm.Address: Jabal Luweibdeh, Kuliyat Al Sharee’ah Street, Building 29Exhibition lasts till the 28th of JulyAlso on Tuesday the 15th:Luna Papa, film from Tajikstanian, screens at the Shoman Cinema Forum.Time: 7:00 pmPlace: Shoman Library between 1st and 2nd circlesFilm: Notre Musique by Director Jean-Luc Godard (French with English subtitles)Time: 8:00 pm@Darat al Funun (for info call 06 4643251)Wednesday July 16thOpera Under the StarsChoir of Kaslik from Lebanon, and the Amman Orchestra will perform “an opera under the stars” at the Roman Amphitheatre downtown.Time: 8:00 pmTickets are for 10, 15, and 20 JDsFriday July 18thInternational Artists Workshop at Shatana – Open DayYou shouldn’t miss this one :) A group of artists from all over the world have spent two weeks at the small village of Shatana, and they’ve been creating a lot of experimental art there. On Friday, between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm, people are invited to go there, meet the artists, and have a beautiful time in the village checking out the work that has been done. (Read Ahmad’s post from last year)Transportation is available, call 0795588393photo by Ahmad HumeidAlso on FridayWorld-renowned DJ David Vendetta is live in Amman at Peanut Colada ( for info call 0796354351)And more on FridayLive music at Negresco in Luweibdeh, starting 9:00 pm (I don’t have info on who exactly is playing there, but they said they’re doing live music every Friday, you can call them to check and get exact directions: 077 7 558 009 / 0799 603 009) [...]

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