Letter from Tunis: We will keep dancing … We just don’t know quite yet how to keep on balance …
In the aftermath of the Hors Lits Festival, I am writing to share with you the reality of artistic, and particularly choreographic, performance in Tunisia. Here in Tunis, we have to date only one national dance festival and two or three private festivals, still struggling for their existence. Faced with the lack of a strong event dedicated to dance, we conceived the Hors Lits Festival (literally, “out of bed”), offering performances within the privacy of spectator's homes: in a living room, a bedroom, or a kitchen … out of bed. This format has allowed us to reach a new audience, to present artists, to try out new artistic forms … to demonstrate the importance of creating alternative spaces for dance.
Letter from Istanbul: There Is a Sonic Revolt in the Streets!
When the government announced Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on 20 March 2021, we were waking up every day with the news of missing, murdered, raped, and beaten women and LGBTQ+ people. Our situation was sadly not unique; indeed, all around the world, our comrades had been struggling with the same systematic violence. Hence, we were not alone in this shit!
Selim Ben Safia is choreographer, performer, and artistic director of the Tunisian association Al Badil—l'alternative Culturelle, which aims to democratize access to art and culture, promote emerging artists, and support Tunisian cultural managers. Since 2019, in Tunisia, he has run the Archipel program, and since 2022, has directed Les Journées Chorégraphique de Carthage.