3 juin 2023

Tunisia: 56th edition of the Carthage Festival, finally open

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The Korean boy band B.I.G., the French Zaz, the Ivorian Alpha Blondy, the Egyptian Sherine: the international music festival of Carthage makes a comeback in great pomp on Thursday in the suburbs of Tunis.

"We come back to life, we breathe art" is the theme of the 56th edition of this prestigious event, known throughout North Africa and the Arab world, which returns after the cancellation of two editions (2020 and 2021) because of the Covid-19 epidemic.

The festival, launched on Thursday evening with a musical (Ocheg Denya) directed by Tunisian filmmaker Abdelhamid Bouchnak, will continue until 20 August, with 33 shows scheduled in the Roman amphitheatre of Carthage, north of Tunis, which can accommodate up to 12,000 spectators.

High-calibre international artists are expected to perform, such as the K-pop (South Korean pop) group B.I.G. on 16 July, Zaz (26 July), the Jacksons (USA, 7 August), the Ivorian star Alpha Blondy (19 August) or the young Nigerian talent Ckay (3 August). And of course, the programme will feature stars from North Africa and the Middle East.

Among them, the Syrian Nour Mhanna (21 July), the Lebanese Ragheb Alama, the rising star of international rap, the Tunisian Balti (31 July), the Algerians of Gnawa Diffusion and Labess (5 August), the Iraqi Naseer Shamma (10 August), the Tunisian Saber Rebaï (16 August) and the Egyptian Sherine who will close the festival.

"The return of the festivals is the return to the energy of life," said Youssef Lachkhem, director of the institution for the promotion of cultural events in Tunisia.

The festival will be suspended for two days because of the referendum on a new constitution called on 25 July by Tunisian President Kaïs Saied.

Saied has seized all the powers for a year and intends to reform the fundamental law to reinstate a presidential regime, much to the dismay of his opponents who denounce an authoritarian drift, citing serious political and economic blockages.

The festival's director Kamel Ferjani described the 2022 edition of the festival as a "challenge" in view of the "exceptional circumstances" facing the country, its financial difficulties and the depreciation of the dinar, which have put a strain on the budget allocated to the acquisition of shows.



© Photo Credits : Tekiano