Get in Your Theatres; the Street is Not Yours»: The Struggle for the Character of Public Space in Tunisia

Published: 15 July 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/g3xxyb5rc8.1
Heather Harrington


How people move and appear in public spaces is a reflection of the cultural, religious and socio-political forces in a society. This article, built on an earlier work titled ’Site-Specific Dance: Women in the Middle East’ (2016), addresses the ways in which dance in a public space can support the principles of freedom of expression and gender equality in Tunisia. I explore the character of public space before, during, and after the Arab Spring uprisings. Adopting an ethnographic and phenomenological approach, I focus on the efforts of two Tunisian dancers – Bahri Ben Yahmed (a dancer, choreographer and filmmaker based in Tunis, who has trained in ballet, modern dance and hip hop) and Ahmed Guerfel (a dancer based in Gabès, who has trained in hip hop) – to examine movement in a public space to address political issues facing the society.

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Drew University, Kean University


Dance, Feminism, Protest Movement, Tunisia, Gender Equality