States such as Peru, Thailand, India and Jordan are often synonymous with vacations for Westerners, countries to take breathtaking trips to and of which only two or three “dream” locations are known. But each state retains its own historical and cultural identity as well as raw and dramatic implications that are often ignored. Such is the case with Jordan, a tourist destination much in vogue in recent years and associated primarily with Petra, the striking city carved into the rock. But what else is known about this Arab state? How do its people live? Italian photographer Federico Feliciotti exclusively tells us through a series of unpublished shots taken in Jordan in February 2023.
Feliciotti’s trip to Jordan begins precisely with tourist intentions. Immediately, however, he decides to get out of the more popular areas and discover the traditions, customs and current conditions of the Jordanian people.
“Jordan was the first Middle Eastern country I visited. Breathtaking landscapes, desert and cities standing still in time. This was what I had always imagined between photos on the web. I didn’t imagine it to be much, but much more.” – the photographer tells us-“for example, I didn’t know that Jordan has been hosting refugees for about 20 years. We are talking about a total population of ten million people, including half a million Syrian refugees.”
Feliciotti highlights the effects that the economic crisis and climate change have had on the lives of the Jordanian people. His shots encapsulate the essence of the people struggling to survive each day, lacking water, food and a comfortable home to live in. The veil of fog that envelops some photographs contributes in creating a dramatic atmosphere, while in others the blue sky and yellow sunlight illuminate the composition, highlighting people’s ability to appreciate life despite difficulties. Happiness and lightheartedness can be seen on the faces of the children portrayed by Federico: some are playing ball in the street, others are looking at him amused.
The emotional alternation that his shots offer creates a heavy feeling that grips the heart of the viewer, now lost with his mind in the arid and desolate moors of Jordan.