Art, Power and Knowledge: Claiming Public Space in Tunisia

In: Middle East Law and Governance

Charles Tripp argues that through artistic interventions – graffiti, visual street art, performances, demonstrations, banners, slogans – citizens have appropriated the public sphere. Despite the monitoring of political dissent through persuasion or coercion, an activist public has created highly visible public spaces, assisted and encouraged by citizen artists. They have generated debates and have helped to give substance to competing visions of the republic.

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  • 18

    Rachel Shabi“In Tunis: The Arab Spring Began in Tunisia and Now Its Artists and Dancers are Keeping the Flame of Protest Alive,” AeonMay 9, 2013, https://aeon.co/essays/first-came-revolution-then-rappers-graffiti-and-streetdance.

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    Frida Dahmani“Tunisie: la Danse, Art du Combat,” Jeune Afrique, February 27, 2013. www.jeuneafrique.com/138214/culture/; Machghoul, “Tunisie: l’Art en Espace Public,” 33.

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    Bechir Abdelmoumen“Kef: Sauvés des Griffes des Salafistes, 19 Artistes Comparaissent devant le Procureur,” WebdoJuly 7, 2013, http://www.webdo.tn/2013/07/07/les-fanni-anni-se-reproduisent-a-gettar-tebourba-gafsa-et-se-font-arreter-au-kef/.

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  • 21

    Imen Blioua“Street Theater Performance Against Death Penalty and Suicide,” TunisialiveJanuary 15, 2015, www.tunisia-live.net/2015/01/15.

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  • 22

    Selim Ben Cheikh“Quelle Place et Quelle Role pour l’Art Contemporain en Tunisie,” Archivio Anthropologico Mediterraneo 15, no. 1 (2013): 90; Abdelmoumen, “Kef.”

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  • 28

    Henda Chennaoui“Décision de Fermeture d’un Autre Espace Culturel à Tunis,” Nawaat – cultureMay 26, 2015, http://nawaat.org/portail/2015/05/26/decision-de-fermeture-espace-culturel-tunis-whatever-saloon/; Henda Chennaoui, “Mass’ Art: un Espace Culturel Alternative Menacé de Fermeture,” Nawaat - culture March 10, 2015, http://nawaat.org/portail/2015/03/10/massart-un-espace-culturel-alternatif-menace-de-fermeture/.

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  • 30

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  • 38

    Rachida Triki“Freedom to Express: the Abdellia Affair,” IbraazAugust 23 2012, www.ibraaz.org/news/30.

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    Priscille Lafitte“Une Exposition d’Art Contemporain à l’Origine des Heurts à Tunis?” France24 – cultureJune 14, 2012, http://www.france24.com/fr/20120612-tunisie-heurts-tunis-exposition-art-contemporain-printemps-marsa-salafistes.

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  • 45

    Selima Karoui“Danseurs Citoyens – Entretien avec Bahri Ben Yahmed: la Résistance, par la Danse, Comme une Lute Contre Tout Forme d’Obscurantisme,” Nawaat – cultureMarch 31, 2014, http://nawaat.org/portail/2014/03/31/danseurs-citoyens-entretien-avec-bahri-ben-yahmed-la-resistance-par-la-danse-comme-une-lutte-contre-toute-forme-dobscurantisme/.

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  • 56

    Lea Ypi“Public Spaces and the End of Art,” Philosophy and Social Criticism 38, no. 8 (2012): 850–56.

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