How is modernity affecting the way we live and interact with the natural world?


Matters of Time, 2019

A video piece exploring the role of the matriarch in the shadow of patriarchal modernization in the Jordanian Badia

Bedouin women have long been charged with assembling the tribes’ Beit-al-sha’ar (house of hair), weaving yards of tent material from the hair of goats and the wool of sheep. With limited resources, weaving has been their means of self-expression in the face of societal submission for centuries, architects silenced in a world of men. For them, responding to the environment has never been an intellectual exercise; it is their way of life. Unlike the structures of stone and concrete which could one day be deserted, left as ruins in the shifting sands, the Beit-al-sha’ar is a symbol of their voices, an ever-inhabited mobile home within which their daily lives unfolds.

How can we weave that which has been torn?

This piece, originally envisaged for the Man-made disaster: Patriarchy and the planet campaign and exhibition, aims to reveal this kind of “matriarchal architecture” and its purposeful and centuries-old social weaving process; an adaptive environmental response to the harsh climate of the Jordanian Badia. However, with the encroaching impact of tourism to their territories, the bedouin tribes of Wadi Rum have increasingly abandoned their pastoral existence to engage with the emergent economy and influx of travelers. This shift has manifested in the most extraordinary ways, as men are called out to build concrete structures and ‘supposed’ eco-lodge bubbles, while the women-held knowledge of adaptive environmental tent-craftsmanship is hidden away… held captive behind another block in the patriarchal wall.