For the past two months, Black is a Value project’s process has included conducting some research on the historical trends of slavery in Tunisia, performing in Tunisia’s Spring Festival 2016, and organizing different workshops with the lead of several pioneer artists and art professors.
The research phase included visiting the Southern part of Tunisia in an attempt to help the group learn about Tunisia’s black community and get introduced to the history of slavery in Tunisia. The visit included educational workshops from black pioneers and artist to introduce the student to the black community and culture. The group got the opportunity to interact with different members of the community as well. As the artistic vision of the project aims to introduce the cultural and artistic inheritance of the black Tunisian community, inspired by ceremonial and ritual forms of black Tunisian culture, the performance will compile several artistic and cultural current trends such as jazz, blues, rap, and slam in an aim to spot the light on the Black Tunisian cultural inheritance and enrich it without having to compromise the essence of that inheritance.
Black is a Value’s performance was among the wide range of performances offered by the Spring Festival held for the first time in Tunisia this year, which took place from April 28 to May 21. The primary objective of the groups who performed in Tunisia’s Spring Festival 2016 was to promote street theater and the different forms of the performing arts. By taking part of this performance, Black is a Value managed to get its message to the audience of the Festival. Many of those who attended the festival described Black is a Value’s performance by having a multidisciplinary artistic taste, as it included dance, theater, and music that came together to compile a perfect harmony and pay tribute to black Tunisian culture and inheritance. In general, Black is a Value’s participation was a great reminder of the existence of racism that shapes the daily life of the Tunisian black community and the importance of peace, tolerance and coexistence.
In addition, the past period included organizing different educational workshops to introduce the artistic team to different artistic aspects of music, theater and dance. These workshops included a workshop with professor Khaled Zghulama on ‘Debate and Theater Criticism’, a workshop with instructor Yousef Baklouti on ‘Drama Writing’, and a workshop given by instructor Mariam Gulwz with the title: “Which Cultural Heritage Shall we Defend”. Finally, Black is a Value organized another exploratory field trip to different areas in Southern Tunisia. The field trip included different workshops related to dance, drama and music in an effort to work on the final stages of the project’s performance.
Through the technique of street theater, Black is a Value aims to promote the principle of mutual respect and coexistence among all groups of the Tunisian society and encourage the elimination of all practices and forms of discrimination on the basis of color in Tunisia. In addition, the performance will be influenced by ceremonial and ritual forms of black Tunisian culture.