by Selma & Sofiane Ouissi, Jan Goossens
When and where?
Dream City 2022
After a long wait and a pandemic that has drained us all, it is with great joy that we share with you the program for the 2022 edition of Dream City. We invite you to join us in Tunis from September 30th to October 9th, for a vivid and festive time of artistic creation and civic solidarity.
The recent years were marked, at times, with solitude and anguish. Similarly, for L'Art Rue's teams and artists, the postponement of Dream City 2021 was a painful and difficult moment. Several works from the upcoming edition, such as ‘Wajdan’ and ‘Lettres du Continent’, will bear witness to this. But the artists at the center of these two films, and many others, also show us how the pandemic has confronted us with profound and unavoidable issues and opportunities not to be ignored. We sincerely hope that Dream City will highly resonate with the turbulence of a former world that is collapsing, and a new one that has to be built under difficulty and uncertainty. ‘Metamorphosis #2', one of the creations of this edition, summarizes all of this in its title.
Viruses, wars, crises of all kinds and coups d'état: nothing is stable nowadays and all things change. Our country and our region are no exception. Tunisian, Moroccan, Algerian, Lebanese, Egyptian, Sudanese and Congolese artists will tell us all about it. And at the same time, hope, optimism, and joy will be very present: in the streets and squares of the Medina and far beyond and in the Municipal Theatre, too. We will sing, dance and celebrate together, alongside Tunisian artists such as Emel Mathlouthi, Katybon and Aly Mrabet, but also with Pepe Elmas Naswa of Kinshasa and Alsarah of Khartoum.
More than ever, ‘Dream City’ has become a shared platform and space at the heart of the city where artists, thinkers and citizens tackle the major issues of the future. How do we keep our country and earth habitable? And how can we best create from all the new perspectives that lie ahead? Contextual, inclusive and participatory creation, public and outdoor spaces as places of manufacturing and sharing, and investing in key cultural institutions of our city: these are our main strategies and tools. In ‘Cypher’ by Ridha Tlili, ‘In The Act’ by Essia Jaibi, "...عن" by Ala Eddine Slim and Malek Gnaoui, or ‘Fragments de Feu’ by Radouane ElMeddeb, the starting points, bodies and contents of the creations emerge directly from our territory, its populations, its history and architecture, and its major societal and cultural issues.
Be it the climate crisis that already surrounds us permanently and that will have to be from now on a top priority for all of us, as shown by Maria Lucia Cruz Correia and The Natural Contract Lab, and their local partners around Lake Sejoumi; the need to create shared and inclusive spaces, such as the spaces designed by Essia Jaïbi and Andrew Graham; urgent action around an increasingly closed and deadly Mediterranean space, which no longer corresponds to the consensual notion of intercultural exchange, as evidenced by the creations of Rossella Biscotti, Fakhri El Ghezal, or the Between Land and Sea summit, curated by historians Leyla Dakhli and Adnen El Ghali; the devastating impact of regional aggressions on countries such as Palestine and Lebanon, of which the work of Lawrence Abu Hamdan speaks; or the inspiring and unifying force of our common Amazigh heritage in the Maghreb, as Radouan Mriziga shows in ‘Libya’: Dream City embodies the burning and unavoidable subject matters for us, Tunisians and for the whole world. Our actions are local, our reflections are global.
Creating unique works that can only be made with, and for Tunis; bringing together artists from the Arab world, the African continent and Europe, who rarely have the opportunity to collaborate; joining processes and artistic forms, and cultures and popular content; mixing performances, installations, concerts, films and debates; questioning, challenging, dancing, and celebrating; from El Hafsia to Bab Souika, including the Belvedere district and the Municipal Theatre on Habib Bourguiba Avenue: Dream City wholeheartedly invites you to share all this with us!
Selma and Sofiane Ouissi, Jan Goossens