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Bridget Ireland

Weaving the Street Art of Amman

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Weaving the Street Art of Amman

By Bridget Ireland

In her fourth post for our Weaving the Streets project, Bridget Ireland reflects on the emerging street art scene she encountered in Amman, Jordan, from innocuous and easily-ignored graffiti to celebrated and officially-sanctioned public art.

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Weaving the Past and the Present in Beirut's Public Spaces

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Weaving the Past and the Present in Beirut's Public Spaces

By Bridget Ireland

One of the best parts of studying in Jordan, a centrally located Middle Eastern country, is the ease of travel around the region. I was lucky enough to travel to Beirut, Lebanon, over a break in the semester at AMIDEAST to experience a new city and new culture. Beirut has significantly more street art than Amman at the moment, partly because of the consistent political turmoil and lack of stability in the government. Street art is a way to express political activism and culture, which Beirut is not lacking. Colorful word art and unique designs adorn the city, a way of distinguishing itself as an independent city.

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Posters and Politics: A Report from Amman Design Week

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Posters and Politics: A Report from Amman Design Week

By Bridget Ireland

Created by Wael Morcos of Lebanon, the poster to the left highlights an important characteristic of Jordanian culture in stunning simplicity. Surprisingly to many Westerners, English is very prevalent in a Jordanian’s everyday life. When I arrived in Amman, I was caught off guard by the amount of English present. Street signs, restaurant advertisements and storefronts almost always display both the Arabic and English names. Looking into the history, I have learned that the use of both languages is is in part due to the historical occupation by Great Britain until 1946. However, English is also becoming more popular in media, music and of course, art (check out Majed Mohamed Hasan Drbseh’s comments in this article from the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications for more information on both languages in Jordan) for the general population. My initial impression of this poster was that the bold English text was targeting the Western world and urging English speakers to be aware of civil liberties. However the subtle and more graceful Arabic script suggests that it is a better representation of the blending of both languages in political life. This poster is a very accurate representation of life in Jordan, where a globalizing world has led to a need to advertise messages and communicate in both English and Arabic.

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