Beyond Struggle in Jerash Screening and discussion Wednesday 21st September 2011
UK based artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White present a screening of their film project
Struggle in Jerash (2010) accompanied by an introductory discussion including the
participation of: Eileen Simpson and Ben White, Ziad Maraqa (lawyer and IP expert based
in Amman), and representatives from the Creative Commons Jordan community.
In 2008, Simpson and White undertook a residency at Makan. At the same moment, the
first Jordanian audio-visual works began to fall into the public domain, and a constellation
of interests were revising copyright laws, trade agreements and licences to control the flow
of culture and build new markets. Against this backdrop, Simpson and White spoke to
lawyers, copyright activists, software developers, artists, musicians, journalists, curators,
filmmakers and critics – in an attempt to identify the common cultural resources of
Jordan’s public domain.
The result of the residency was a film project convened around a lost Jordanian feature
film, produced in 1957 by Jordanian Film & Performing Arts Co. Struggle in Jerash which
fell out of copyright the year of the artists’ residency. Simpson and White re-animate the
original film by appropriating the tactic of the commercial DVD director's commentary,
subverting its standard authorial voice and placing the audience at the centre of a
The discussion and screening at Makan provides an opportunity to reflect on the work and
to examine tactics of peer-to-peer collaboration and distribution in the current social,
cultural and political landscape.
Language of discussion and film is English