English / عربي
"Knowledge from the region, for the region"

Social Justice

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This picture essay was created through a collaboration with Jordanian artist Samer Kurdi, as part of a three-part series that uses art to explore the three focus areas of the WANA Institute -  Green Economy, Social Justice and Human Security. This essay is focused upon Social Justice and navigates the social justice challenges that the region is currently facing. It explores the roots of these issues and the impact that they have upon the people of the region. 

Check out the Green Economy and Human Security picture essays. 

Artist bio: Samer Kurdi

I started painting at age 21 after taking a couple of art classes while a student in Boston. And although my degree was not in art, I managed to take as many art classes as I could in the US, and then most notably with the famous Syrian/German artist ‘Marwan Qassab Bashi’ at Darat Al Funun in Amman in the late 90’s.

While I am drawn to large, emotionally charged representational oil paintings in the expressionistic tradition, my artistic journey recently took a turn towards digital media, such that I am now using stylus and tablet to create prints digitally (which, incidentally, tend to look exactly like my paintings), and creating limited edition prints out of them, examples of which you can see in this venue.

My subject matter is grounded in Middle Eastern roots: dervishes, pomegranates, still lifes, and café scenes from downtown Amman. I am drawn to spaces that represent Arabic urban culture, and spaces where ‘life’ is either present or implied; people reading in cafes, an interior with an ashtray on a table, a flight of stairs.

The prints that are presented in this show were created in cooperation with the WANA Institute. We created three picture essays centered on the following areas: Human Security, Social Justice, and Green Economy. Each print was inspired by a sentence or phrase from the text provided by WANA, and meant to illustrate the concepts therein and, hopefully, to arrive at an emotional reaction in the viewer. I am both grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with them and proud of the outcome.

If you would like to see more of my work, please visit my website samerkurdi.com.

Samer Kurdi,
Amman, Jordan

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