Spring Sessions is an intensive experiential pedagogical program in Amman—a communal learning experience and arts residency program bringing creative practitioners together to create and share a body of cultural knowledge. The program seeks to facilitate dialogue between emerging and more-established cultural practitioners based in Amman or abroad. It aims to introduce participants to the working skills necessary to their arts practice, while simultaneously encouraging them to question existing artistic and cultural paradigms by experimenting outside of traditional modes. The first edition of Spring Sessions took place at the former King Ghazi Hotel in downtown Amman. The program invited international artists working in various disciplines to engage with 20 local participants in workshops, lectures, field research, film screenings and dinners. It culminated in an open day presenting various manifestations of the ideas developed throughout the program. For more information about the 2014 program, go to our blog.
The second edition of Spring Sessions will build upon the first, while adopting a more rigorous approach focused on exposing participants to new conceptual methods and guiding them towards producing new artworks. As in the pilot edition, the program remains committed to the spirit of collaboration and communality, building up to a public presentation of the results of the 3-month spring program.
The 2015 program is inspired by a desire to thoughtfully engage with contemporary Amman, allowing its intricacies and situations to inform our imaginations and cultural practice. The invited artists—individuals and collectives alike—will conduct workshops addressing a broad range of issues, from urbanization and public space to migration and collective memory. The participants, either collaboratively or individually, will work to research and creatively realize ideas arising from these sessions. The workshops will be complemented by: a process of continuous mentoring by the organizers and invited guests helping participants situate their practice contextually and sustain it in the long run; a comprehensive workshop on writing asking participants to synthesize the results of the program sessions and develop their practical expressive skills; as well as a series of film screenings related to and variously reflecting upon the workshop sessions. In addition to its curated content, the program will maintain enough flexibility to allow for spontaneous explorations or activities as suggested by the group.
In line with Spring Sessions’ commitment to reactivating spaces of cultural significance, the 2015 program will take place at The Studio, an art space between Wadi Saqra and downtown established in 2010 by a collective of 4 printmakers. The Studio has hosted numerous print exhibitions and multi-disciplinary workshops over the years, but has been inactive since the beginning of 2014 due to financial challenges. Spring Sessions is reactivating The Studio for the period of the 2015 program, taking it as a home from which to explore the neighborhood and engage the surrounding community.