Video, 43 mins, Tunisia, 2017
How is that possible? The Tunisian people managed to peacefully overthrow a dictator and to establish a democracy, while disproportionally many radical Islamistic fighters are coming from the very same country. This question was spinning in my mind.
Additionally, I was confronted with questions about the current Arab lifestyle in my personal environment as an Egyptian living in Berlin. This revealed how little insight there is on the modern Arab world. So I set out for Tunisia to find answers to these questions.
I met mainly young people with diverse backgrounds and upbringing. They opened not only their living rooms but also their hearts and minds in discussions about freedom as well as the classic Arab taboos of religion, politics, and sex.
Several groups across the country picked up the Arab tradition of debating openly in the safe environment of the private living room. They discussed the ever-present, but not daily topics of identity, colonial history, religion, and sexuality. The participants were not pre-selected according to any criteria. They came together based on an open call for participation that was channelled though various personal networks. Only the willingness to discuss was required.
One is being transferred into the middle of the discussions and cannot only listen to the different points of view that are juxtaposed without comment, but also see the impetus in the discussions and feel the spirit of change. The gestures and body language speak for themselves. One will get an understanding for how younger people in Tunisia think and how diverse the present opinions still are.
While finding the answers to my questions I was filming. The basic methods of recording and processing the material make reference to the simple ways current societal or political developments are being documented and shared in the Arab world – e.g. by smartphone. It is the work of an independent film maker with a low budget.
To watch the video please contact the artist (Arabic with English subtitles).
Many thanks to all who opened their hearts and minds
and expressed their personal opinions.
abdallah hadj ali
Jamil Ben Khalifa
Chérif El Kadhi
Mahdi Mahdi Znagui
Special thanks to:
Zied Ben Amor
Production, Camera, Cut:
A Film by Ahmed Kamel