(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — Home cannot be separated from identity and people's identity is very often found where they come from, French Ambassador to Jordan David Bertolotti told The Jordan Times on Sunday.
Commenting on the theme of this year's "Image Festival", the French diplomat said: 'Even inside Jordan, many people have to leave their original governorate to come to Amman. This creates new homes, new neighbourhoods compared to the ones they used to know. These former places must not be forgotten because they are a real part of their heritage.'
His remarks came at the opening of the festival's 8th edition, which brought four European professional photographers who will host workshops together with Jordanian artists.
Linda Khoury, the curator of the festival, said they received requests from all over the world to participate in the event including some from South Afria, Europe, Lebanon and Morocco.
'There was a lack of financial support this year which was one of our great challenges. The lack of the support is mainly due to financial hardships and not because people do not want to support us,' she told The Jordan Times, adding that this year's exhibitions will be "very unique".
Khoury noted that this year's theme — "Home" — illustrates the variety of meanings related to a place, including the feelings and memories tied to it.
'There are two exhibitions presented at the festival opening: the first displaying the work of Moamen Malkawi, a Jordanian photographer who conducted a project on old houses in Irbid. The second was done by Lebanese Marwan Tahtah, who set up an interesting exhibition highlighting the usage of big advertisement banners for refugees' houses covers,' she added.
Malkawi said he sought to document the architectural side of Jordan. 'I started in Irbid in order to highlight the architectural heritage of the area. There are houses that will disappear in the future because there are no clear policies to preserve them. The job of the photographer is to document them so that we can retain traces of these areas even when they have vanished,' he stated.
Highlighting the importance of having photography exhibitions in Amman, Bertolotti said: 'The Image Festival has established itself as an important event which puts a focus on visual arts and participates in the teaching of art to the public.'
Organised and mainly funded by Darat Al Tasweer, the Image Festival is held with the support of the European Union National Institutes for Culture.