Contemporary Art in Tunisia

 Episode 144

Contemporary Art in Tunisia

As part of the AIMS Contemporary Art Fellowship, Ignacio Villalón conducted research into the contemporary art scene in Tunisia, exploring private and public cultural institutions, sources of funding, questions of language, and ongoing challenges. This project culminated in a report, written for academic and non-academic audiences alike. In this podcast, Villalón summarises the main findings of his research, focusing on a few select phenomena in the Tunisian art scene. 

Ignacio Villalón is a writer, researcher, and journalist with a focus on politics and culture in the Mediterranean region. He received his Master's degree in History from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, for which he conducted research on emigration (hijra) in early 20th century Algeria. As AIMS Contemporary Arts Fellow, he carried out research on the arts scene in Tunisia. He has published articles in "Le Quotidien d'Oran" and "Africa is a Country." Ignacio is currently CAORC Social Sciences Fellow.

This interview was recorded on May 13, 2022, via Zoom and led by Katarzyna Falęcka, Lecturer in Art History at Newcastle University and Project Coordinator at the Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT)

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We thank our friend Ignacio Villalón, AIMS contemporary art follow for his guitar performance of A vava Inouva of Idir for the introduction and conclusion of this podcast. 

Edited and Posted by: Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).

Suggested Bibliography

Boissier, A. 2017. L’art contemporain tunisien en révolution. Continuité et discontinuité des trajectoires face à l’événement. L’Année Du Maghreb, 16. 


Gerschultz, J. 2019. Decorative Arts of the Tunisian École: Fabrications of Modernism, Gender, and Power. The Pennsylvania State University Press.


Hossenally, R. 1 Sept. 2014. In Tunisia, Something Tactile in the 'Island of Dreams'.” The New York Times, The New York Times,.


Le Monde. 2012, June 14. L’exposition artistique à l’origine des émeutes tunisiennes de juin. Le 


Tripp, C. 2016. Art, Power and Knowledge: Claiming Public Space in Tunisia. Middle East Law and Governance, 8 (2–3), 250–274. 26 Nov. 2021. “TGM Gallery : UN Nouvel Espace Culturel Et Artistique Voit Le Jour., 31 Dec. 2021. “La Fondation Rambourg Arrête SES Activités.”



Slide 1: Street art, Medina, Tunis (Photograph by Ignacio Villalón)

Slide 2: Public mural by El Seed, La Marsa, Tunis (Photograph by Katarzyna Falęcka)

Slide  3: Farah Khelil, Effet du serre, 2021, Parc du Belvédère de Tunis (Photograph by Ignacio Villalón)