An Art Invasion: An Urban Reflection

Jordan’s very own art movement

By Farah Hijazi

(Picture above: Mahmoud Abdel Rahman, one of the kids who helped Lutfi Zayed - a resident artist in An Urban Reflection - on mural 'Mamnoo3 Al Wuqoof')


Set on a quest following the silver cord, the soul-searching visionary -a Jordanian-born artist- Nahla Tabbaa began her exploratory journey to find herself once again.

The silver cord- that in the past, led to her previous attached concrete-form- a city; London- was left disjoined when Nahla, after graduating from the college of Central St Martins with her masters in Curatorial Practice programme at the Bath School of Art and Design, returned to what us Ammanies call home. A flick of thought was all was needed, to penetrate its way through the untouchable mind, into the streets of Jabal Al Qala’a. An Urban Reflection-part of Nahla’s masters-was the choice of instrument to rejoin the lost soul with a new, yet familiar body-form. The power of the union of body and soul once again, left an impeccable impact; a source of change was born.

A truly inspiring project; which all participating parts gained a lot from. Not only the residents of Jabal Al Qala’a (especially the kids), who through this beautiful tool of art have most importantly arrived to a new, fresh mindset but also the artists who fed on the kids energy grew a sort of attachment to the neighborhood that reflects another side of Amman. Not to mention, random passersbyers, who now instead of walking in hurried pace, stop and contemplate at the beauty of the place. As My.Kali took a step forward up the river flow stairs, we could not help but feel the imaginary splashes of water hit our faces with a feeling of refreshment.

The project show-cased the neighborhood’s past, desires and hang-ups in a series of different activities and artworks. Each artist had the liberty to develop creative ideas addressing social, economical, environmental and architectural issues affecting the area. A unique project, filled with diversity in concept and style yet somehow pieces of the puzzle come closer to form this masterpiece in vision and in change. 


Photographed by Rafic. Art directed by Kali. Hair and Make-up by Jabal Al Qal’aa’s Rahaf Salon. Video by Ala’a Abu Qasheh.