Street artists from the world over are gathering this week in Jordan to celebrate Middle Eastern and North African female street artists and support women’s rights in the region. The festival theme is “Stories from Fear to Freedom”, and WOWBaladk, was organised by AlBalad Theater and
ست الحيطة – Women on Walls. Attendees are from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Qatar and Yemen, plus a few Westerners including Swedish artist Carolina Falkholt, and aims to bolster graffiti, visual and community art in Amman.
A small but sprawling five day festival WOWBaladk involves seminars, discussions and meetups set up by local female initiatives and groups. Local young artists are invited to create their own street art, something that is actively persecuted in many of these countries, as opposed to tolerated, or institutionally celebrated in others.
Highlights include: a film by Swedish journalist Neta Norrmo at Gallery Ras Al Ain, Al Hussein Cultural Center and a seminar with Neta Norrmo, Swedish artist Carolina Falkholt, together with Egyptian artists Enas Awad, Nour Shokry & Hashem Al Kelesh, and Mike Derderian from Jordan. The screening was in the presence of H.R.H Princess Majda and Sweden’s Ambassador to Jordan, H.E Helena Rietz, and Sad Panda (pictured) from Egypt.