YOX photography

Andrea Merli

Stones of Jordan

It began as another trip out of Israel to renew my tourist visa. This time, it was April 2006, I headed to the south. From Jerusalem I reached Eilat by bus, then I crossed the border at Arava and I entered Jordan. But I didn’t turn right to Aqaba, as I had planned along the way. I took the other direction. That is how I ended up in the red desert of Wadi Ram, one of the most magnificent pieces of landscape I have ever encountered. I stayed there for three days, based in a Bedouin tent. Walking the trails, breathing the silence. Then I moved to Wadi Musa, a little village at the edge of the Siq which leads to the city of Petra. Here, the story that had started unfolding amongst the rocks of the desert found its completion.

Soon after I returned to Palestine, images and words found their place in a project called Stones of Jordan.



I wish to sincerely thank Fr. Jean-Michel de Tarragon at the École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem for allowing me to include some of their stunning historical images of Wadi Ram and Petra. Also, I want to acknowledge an inspiring work by Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, for shedding light on the hierophanies I experienced in the south of Jordan.

Stones of Jordan was first conceived as an exhibit. Produced by the Bethlehem Peace Center and endorsed by the Consulate of Jordan in Ramallah, it was on display from 14 to 30 August 2006 and from 12 to 28 April 2007.

<a href="http://adobe.com/go/getflashplayer">Get Flash Player</a>

Bethlehem Peace Center also printed a booklet with some photos and the text of the story, both in English and Arabic. It is here for download. My thanks to Rami Hazboun for the design.



By the way, this is a snapshot from "the backstage" of Stones of Jordan. It is the moment when the prints of the first edit of images get spread all over the floor, the moment when invisible connections and thin lines of meaning make their way up to the surface. It feels like looking at leaves floating in a pond, slowly arranging themselves in unexpected patterns. This moment, I guess, is my favourite step in the creative process of making a project.



It's all about how you look at it. And, most important, it's about how much time you feel it's worth.

Comments are closed.


Ricevi aggiornamenti via posta elettronica.

Get updates delivered to your Inbox.