Sites of memory: oral history project in Jordan

This #WorldDayForAudiovisualHeritage, Sites of Memory presents memories and personal testimonies about places of importance to modern Jordanian history.  Carving up a space for dissonance and incoherency, the exhibition is an invitation to consider the role of the aural in the construction of historical narratives and rethink the representation of “the event” in relation to various sites across the country1.

The exhibition is the final public event of the research project Our Memory which is jointly realized by the Goethe-Institut, the Institut français de Jordanie (IFJ), the Institut français du Proche Orient (Ifpo), the National Library of Jordan as well as the University of Yarmouk (YU), the University of Mutah, the University Hussein Bin Talal and the University of Jordan. Realized as part of the Cultural Heritage Days in Jordan, the exhibition was made possible with a fund from EUNIC and the EU. The project “Our Memory” received funding from the Franco-German Cultural Fund.

Oral traditions are strong in Jordan, but have so far been rarely used as a source for documenting and analysing the living history of various sites of memory around the country. Responding to the need to document and preserve such narratives, the project Our Memory worked with young researchers to conduct field work and engage with local communities to preserve their stories.

Ported 'entrée de la salle d'expostion sur la mémoire orale en Jordanie

Using the recordings of these stories, the exhibition shows how historical sites have been used in more recent events, how their meaning has shifted, and why local communities might relate to such sites in very different ways. The exhibition therefore creates space for a more inclusive understanding of Jordan’s social history, while also meditating on the relationship between tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

In November, as part of this oral history project, the MMSH sound archives center ‘Phonothèque de la MMSH’ will participate with a team from Ifpo to delever training to the archivists of the Department of the Jordan National Library who are responsible for the preserservation and enhancement of the recordings in the field.

The exhibition runs to 10 November 2019.

The exhibition is realized as part of the Cultural Heritage Days in Jordan.

Photo de groupe du projet d'histoire orale

 

Crédits photographiques : flyer of the exhibition, the Khalid Shoman Fundation, group photography of students, trainers and institutional coordinators of the oral history project, photographs by Falestin Naili, October 27th, Amman, CC_BY_NC. Lien vers l’émission de Jordan Today présentant l’exposition le jour de l’inauguration.

Logo du jour du patrimoine en Jordanie

 

  1. Ali Pasha Abdyeh Street (Mafraq), Al-Muqariya Village (Shobak- Ma’an), Sheikh Rashid Mosque (Al-Ramtha- Irbid), The Duke’s Diwan (Amman), Palace of Al – Alali – Kleib Shreyda Palace (Tubnah- Irbid), Ma’an Stream (Ma’an), Castle Street (Al-Karak), Old Ma’an Market (Ma’an), Al Rawsha Cafe (Al-Zarqa), Diwan Al Majali (Al-Karak), Diwan Methqal (Um Al Amad, Amman). []

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