Amman: Do Cities Have Personal Maps?

Amman: Do Cities Have Personal Maps?

On Tuesday in Amman, Darat Al Funun’s The Lab organised a lecture performance titled “Exploring Gender and Belonging to the City”.

According to the organisation’s website, the lecture performance is based on ethnographic research in Amman, and seeks to answer the questions: “What is your personal map of the city?”, “How do you navigate it?”, “What does it mean to belong to a city?” and “How is belonging or not belonging affected by the body and languages I/you inhabit?”

The performing artist, Hanna Al Taher, partially grew up in Amman.

“I am a Diaspora person,” Taher said in her performance, which included fictional, real, theoretical and narrative elements in English and Arabic.

“I am a researcher and theatre author working on decolonisising knowledge,” the artist told The Jordan Times in an interview on Tuesday, adding: “The lecture performance is an experiment based on my interdisciplinary research.”

The artist noted that, “as knowledge is experienced in different planes, this gives me and the audience an opportunity to interact in a not purely scientific setting”.

The lecture performance took place as part of the exhibition Paper Machine by Feminist Architecture Collaborative, which is being showcased at The Lab until March 9.

“The exhibition deals with the gendered aspects of citizenship and all the different facets of the infrastructure or the bureaucracy that makes one a citizen or not, or defines one’s belonging based on different kinds of categories, be it gender, race or class and also how these intersect,” said Joud Halawani, the curator of The Lab, in an interview with The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

“This is something that the lecture also deals with, but by way of a more personalised encounter,” the curator said.

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