Challenging Power in the Arab World

From poetry to cinema, from microblogging to theater, from literature to journalism, arts and media are always a fertile ground for experimentation and imagination, creativity and political dissent. That is the case across Arab and Muslim societies, too. This e-book strives to shed light on those very intellectual resources – often neglected, at times repressed – to unpack the complexity of societies and cultural experiences across the MENA region. A specific focus is provided, in the second part, on the social and cultural ferment in Tunisia, a particularly interesting reality, that deserves special attention in this season of great political and democratic uncertainty. 

This collection of essays – signed by renowned authors, promising scholars and journalists – is the output of the 2021 edition of the Carthage Seminars, jointly convened by Reset DOC and the Tunisian Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts-Beit al-Hikma, with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and dedicated to Pluralism in Arab and Muslim Societies. Freely circulated, this monograph seeks to highlight the relevance of and further encourage creativity and cultural pluralism across Arab and Muslim societies.



Download your copy of the e-book HERE.

Challenging Power in the Arab World
Arts, Culture and Media under Duress


Edited by Federica Zoja

Contributors: Randa Aboubakr, Atef Alshaer, Nouh Anajjar, Omar Fassatoui, Abdel Aziz Hali, Shady Hamadi, Amina Karoui, Zyed Krichen, Peter Limbrick, Moez Mrabet, Teresa Pepe.



Introduction – Federica Zoja

Part I – Seeking Space for Pluralism and Creativity

New Networks for Arab film and video – Peter Limbrick

The Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish and Adonis, Between Freedom and Duress – Atef Alshaer

The Digital Sphere as a Site of Social Activism – Randa Aboubakr

The Arab Diaspora in Italy, Between Stereotypes and Literature – Shady Hamadi

The writer’s mirror and veil. Egyptian Autofiction from print to digital – Teresa Pepe


Part II – Cultural and political ferment in Tunisia

Tunisia: intellectual issues of the democratic transition – Zyed Krichen

Acculturation of rights and freedoms in the post-revolutionary Tunisia – Omar Fassatoui

The alternative media in Tunisia: Nawaat, Inkyfada & Al Qatiba – Abdel Aziz Hali

Tunisian Theater from dictatorship to democracy – Moez Mrabet


Appendix – Best Papers by Carthage 2021 Young Scholars

The 2011 Radical Imagination Through the Panopticon of Hip-Hop: The Promise of a Better Democracy in Tunisia – Amina Karoui

Building Bridges, Not Walls – Arab Anglophone Diasporic Writers as Cultural Mediators – Nouh Anajjar



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