Baladk – Street Art Project
Baladk, a locally focused street art festival in Amman & provinces, with a particular emphasis on graffiti. One of the key highlights of the festival will be to bring guest graffiti artists from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Palestine, to exchange & collaborate with the local artists.
- Date: May 20th – 26th, 2016
- Place: Amman, Jordan
- Artists: 6 regional graffiti artists were invited to participate in Baladk Project as well as a call to local artists was released on March 1st, 2015 & 20 local artists were selected to participate.
20 local artists were selected by a committee consisted of organizers & local street artists. 7 established street artists will be invited from the Arab World.
Baladk 2016 Theme:
Baladk street art project was first inaugurated in Amman in 2013 as a street art project that aimed to empower citizenship through different forms of street art, primarily murals. For 2016, Baladk will centralize the activities in three areas inside the capital Amman, under the broad theme of “The influence of the City upon yourself”.
– Graffiti Street Art festival in five areas/locations inside Amman.
– Closing ceremony that will include local live music, street art performances, open mic sessions, dance performances, fire shows and more.
– Prior workshops for Graffiti for emerging local graffiti artists, given by guest artists from the Arab World.
Baladk through the years
Baladk Project – “Reclaiming Our Streets” edition, May 22nd – May 27th 2015
In 2015, Baladk had a subtitle/slogan which was: “Reclaiming Our Streets”, or “شارعنا” in Arabic. The theme was about “Resistance”; resisting all kinds of oppression no matter what particular reasons caused it: social, religious, political, personal, historical… etc. We have chosen a very wide theme to make sure participating artists have the unlimited variety of imagination & creativity to express resistance from different perspectives, coming from different backgrounds, & diversified “resisting” experiences.
In which Baladk Project invited 15 local emerging artists in addition to 6 regional artists from Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Yemen & Egypt.
The organizers believed that citizenship is closely linked to the feeling of ownership towards hometowns, which could be beautifully expressed using street arts. And it took place in Amman, Mafraq, Salt & Fuheis in the time between May 22nd & May 27th, 2015.
Both experiences served as a springboard and learning opportunities that highlighted two important points: the first is that street art is the art form that brings artists (and art itself) closer to the people and removes it from the bourgeois confines of theater-closed spaces, and the second is that this project needs to be an annual one that brings together artists, art groups, and community organizations all over the city.
Given the fact that Jordan’s population has recently become more diverse than ever before as a result of the turmoil in neighboring Arab countries, we strongly believe that street art will be a very effective tool in communicating & resisting the multiple forms of oppression practiced on different demographics.
In Jordan, and in the aftermath of the uprisings in surrounding countries, the social texture has changed; it has become more complicated, richer & more daring to express their rights.
Street arts are effective because they come from the community; we do not go to them: they gather & express their inner thoughts in the most creative possible ways.
This project aims to turn the streets into festive colorful sites; where people celebrate their existence & freedom from all kinds of oppression. Our main target is the local community and neighborhood, in addition to young street artists who have been oppressed by the public authorities who claim the streets theirs for no justified reasons.
WOW Baladk October 7th – 11th, 2014
In 2014, Baladk partnered with an Egyptian/Swedish project “WOW- Women on Walls” that aimed to empower women in public spaces through street art. The outcome of this partnership was “WOW Baladk”: one of the biggest festivals in the region that celebrated women on huge murals at Gallery Ras Al Ain, Amman.
WOW Baladk was a joint initiative between Baladk Project and Women on Walls (WOW) aiming to create graffiti, visual art and community art dedicated to empowering women’s rights.
Twenty four artists from different countries across the Middle East such as Egypt, Palestine, Bahrain, Yemen, Qatar and Jordan joined their forces to create the longest wall in Amman painted by artists.
The theme for WOW Baladk street art project was “Stories from Fear to Freedom”. The goal that was successfully accomplished was to have artists connect to the issues through their own personal experiences and stories and visually express stories of both fear and freedom. WOW Baladk included the longest wall in Amman painted by artists. Read more at: http://womenonwalls.org/wow-baladak-amman/
Baladk (experimental art project) May 11th, 2013
The idea started with an initiative from Al Balad Theater’s friends & volunteers in 2013, to link the area of al Balad Theater’s artistic & cultural visions & aims with the community.
Al Balad Theater aimed to present a unique cultural experience entitled “BALADK”, with a vision of contributing the local youth in the city’s cultural rhythm through their different art formations, which enhances their loyalty towards building a culture that represents them & speaks their language.
A collective of local emerging artists & musicians residing in the area of Al Balad Theater executed this project, and Amman city. “Art for All” is a universal concept, which emphasizes the right of being exposed to art regardless social levels and differences.
Baladk published an office 2016 agenda, the agenda is supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.
Baladk project received a wide media coverage and attention both online & offline
Baladk Project media in numbers:
• In 2015, Baladk project had 6 main media sponsor varied from radio stations, magazines and Web TV’s.
• 9 radio interviews were done varied from artists to organizers.
• Two main local Arabic & English printed magazines covered Baladk Project throughout the time of the project.
• Baladk project events were internationally covered by Associated Press & Reuters.
• More than 14 media agencies offline and online reported & reviewed locally, regionally and international the project.
For more detailed information, please visit this link to view more in Al Balad Theater Website: http://al-balad.org/baladk-in-media.
Al Balad Theater
Yazid bin Abi Sufian St. 12
Jabal Amman – 1st circle
Raed Asfour – Al Balad Theater Manager
Mu’ath Isaeid – PR & Communications