The Amman Center organizes and hosts a variety of conferences, talks, summits, and workshops that address the fields of arts and culture in Jordan and the region. In collaboration with a wide range of local, regional and international institutions, the Amman Center works on issues ranging from language and archaeology to film and history. Over the summer months, the Center also hosts students and faculty from Columbia University as part of multiple programs on Arabic language and culture, environmental sustainability, and architecture.
Teaching and Curating Art During a Time of Pandemic
Museums and universities are among the institutions vastly affected by COVID-19. With the spread of the pandemic, most art institutions and academic departments have closed for the indefinite future. Online exhibitions, virtual art courses, and curating for an increasingly digital world have altered the traditional physical experience of art and museums. Likewise, virtual classrooms and online projects have replaced the traditional art education in universities and art departments. Moving forward, museums and universities are considering various platforms and mechanisms to continue to reach their audiences and students.
This webinar brought together prominent curators and art historians to shed light on their experience of working during the pandemic, challenges faced and lessons learned, and how this situation may change the future of art museums and classrooms.
The Future of the Past: Addressing the Cultural Heritage Crisis in Iraq and Syria
In partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the fourth regional joint cultural heritage workshop was hosted in Amman, bringing together museum specialists and conservators from Iraq, Libya, and Jordan, as well as colleagues from Europe, Australia, and North America.
The workshops are thinking groups on emergency response, conservation and documentation of monuments, heritage architecture, museum collections, and the preservation of archives. Museum staff were trained on how to use equipment to document their collections and how to produce high quality publications with minimal resources using these images. Participants also discussed emergency collection care, education, and staff training. Thousands of objects are now more thoroughly documented, with high quality images and attached metadata, thanks to the dedication of workshop participants.
During the workshop, a keynote lecture was delivered by Michel Al-Maqdissi, Researcher at the Department of Oriental Antiquities at the Louvre Museum. The multi-year initiative, supported by a grant from the President’s Global Innovation Fund, is spearheaded by Zainab Bahrani, Edith Porada Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology at Columbia University.
Book Talk Series
Our virtual series of book talks, in partnership with the Center for Palestine Studies and Middle East Institute at Columbia University, features Arab authors to showcase some of the breadth and diversity in Arab fiction writing. Authors delve into a riveting discussion of the sociocultural, literary, and personal factors that shape their storytelling.