Like all great cities of the world, Tunis is full of stories. These stories are both intimate and public, both ephemeral and timeless. They are written in the streets and buildings. They are whispered in the cafés and shouted from the windows. They are sung and danced and painted and performed by artists and ordinary people every day.
On Thursday this week, François Beaune will be traveling through Tunis collecting stories for his project Histoires Vraies. This modern-day brother Grimm is undertaking a year-long voyage around the Mediterranean collecting the “true tales” of locals in 14 different countries. The stories will be collected and presented in various artistic forms as part of a year-long cultural festival in Marseilles next year.
According to his website, a true tale is a short anecdote “which has importance in our own personal mythology. It must have happened to you personally or to the person who told it to you. It can be funny, sad, strange, intriguing or inspiring.” Beune will be at the Charles de Gaulle library on April 5 at 3pm to talk about the project and to collect your own stories.
In other cultural news, this week the international music festival Jazz à Carthage begins on April 5 and runs until the 15th. Seventeen acts from Tunisia, Africa, Europe and as far afield as the US and Brazil will be playing in two venues in the northern suburbs. This year features a number of jazz divas including Inna Modja from Mali, Stacey Kent from the US and Luz Casal from Spain. It’s also a treat for blues fans with Otis Taylor, Michael Burks and Frank Salis, among others.
The film festival “Views of America” also begins this week. The festival features six independent films that have recently received international awards and acclaim at various festivals. On the billing are films starring George Clooney, Adrian Brody, Owen Wilson and Demi Moore, among others. On April 7th the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times will be shown in the presence of Roger Cohen, an editorialist at the esteemed newspaper that is the subject of the film.
Acting as a prelude to this event, on Wednesday April 4 a group of local Tunisian filmmakers are organizing a day of cinema and music. Four short films from Egypt and Tunisia will be screened, followed by discussions from the films’ directors themselves. The event, which takes place at the École Nationale d’Architecture et d’Urbanisme (ENAU) in the northern suburbs of Tunis, will conclude with a reggae concert.
A number of art exhibitions are opening this week. One of them, entitled Casse-Gueles, is the first solo exhibition by Fatma Amara and has just opened at El Teatro in Belvedère. She presents 69 portraits that blend “poetry, writing and humor” in a range of styles and media. The sneak peak of her work on her Facebook page suggests that this will be an exhibition worth checking out.
Finally, not in Tunis but… Once again Sousse shows its cultural credentials with a festival of classical music entitled La Nuit des Soloistes (The Night of Soloists). Running from April 6 to 14, the festival features musicians and singers from around the Mediterranean, including France, Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia. The concerts are at the municipal theater and Al Kobba museum.True Stories When: April 5, 15h00 Where: Médiathèque Charles de Gaulle, 1, rue d’Athènes, Tunis Language: French More Information: Médiathèque ph. 71 249 137, http://www.mp2013.fr/histoiresvraies/category/blog/ Jazz à Carthage When: April 5 – 15 Where: Hotel Carthage Thalasso and Hotel Golden Tulip, Gammarth How Much: 10 – 60 TD More Information: http://www.jazzacarthage.com/ Views of America Film Festival When: 5-8 April Where: Cinema Le Mondial 10 rue Ibn Khaldoun, Tunis How Much: 2.5TD per film or 10TD for all six More Information: http://www.viewsofamerica.com/, Le Mondial: 71 340 158 Local Short Film Festival and Reggae concert When: April 4, Where: École nationale d’architecture et d’urbanisme (ENAU), Rue El Kodes, Sidi Bou Saïd How Much: 2TD Language: Arabic More Information: ph. 55 459 740 (saief), or 96 522 532 (khaled) Casse-Gueles When: Until 16 April Where: El Teatro, Complex El Mechtel, Belvedère More Information: 71 89 43 13 La Nuit des Soloistes Festival When: April 6 – 14 Where: Municipal Theater and Al Kobba Museum, Sousse. More Information: Municipal Theatre of Sousse ph. 73 22 82 11