I AM JORDAN, UNITED KINGDOM & NORTH AMERICA 2017-2018
A strategic visual art exhibition celebrating the rich, diverse and pivotal contribution that Middle Eastern women make to the enduring global quest for harmony and peace For Immediate Release - 26 January 2017 As the world’s attention is focused anew on respecting women’s rights, and while there is an increasing need for developing understanding and encouraging friendship between the peoples of the Middle East and West, I AM is a peacebuilding exhibition organized by CARAVAN that showcases the insights and experiences of Middle Eastern women as they confront issues of culture, religion and social reality in a rapidly changing world both in the Middle East and West. Designed to address stereotypes and challenge misconceptions of the "other”, the I AM exhibition will be a visual celebration of the crucial role that Middle Eastern women play as guardians of peace, celebrating their strengths and rich and diverse contributions in the enduring global quest for a more harmonious and peaceful future. The I AM exhibition highlights what women contribute toward healing our world, because of their inherent connection to the sanctity of life, and their ability to nurture and protect it, thereby inspiring a legacy of harmony. The I AM exhibition is being guest curated by Janet Rady, a specialist in Middle Eastern contemporary art, and a selection of 31 acclaimed women artists of Middle Eastern heritage have been invited to participate in this unique East-West exhibition. The I AM exhibition will premiere in Amman, Jordan at the National Gallery of Fine Arts in spring 2017 (May 3-June 14, 2017) and will then be showcased in London at St. Martin-in-the-Fields on Trafalgar Square (July 3-August 20, 2017), following by touring North America through the end of 2018, premiering on September 5, 2017 in Washington, D.C. at the Katzen Arts Center of the American University. The exhibition originated from a desire to creatively and positively build on the message of the highly-acclaimed book written by former US President Jimmy Carter, who is much loved and respected in the Middle East, titled A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power. Additionally, the phrase “I AM” is significant to the Abrahamic faiths. The words of divine self-identification, “I AM”, are familiar to Christians and Muslims to represent God/Allah, therefore serving as an interreligious bridge. The phrase “I AM” remind us, regardless of creed, of all being equal and one. Above all, this exhibition celebrates the diversity of human expression, while also asserting the common priorities that all persons seek and treasure. An exciting schedule of programs and events will accompany the I AM exhibition at each venue to stimulate discussion, dialogue and education, promoting further understanding.