Donnerstag, 11. August 2016  / Alter: 2 Jahre

'The role of arts in transitional Tunisia –   Rethinking cultural policy & international cultural relations'

November 22–28, 2016 Tunis, Tunisia


Short facts

•       24 Master and PhD Students from three countries (Germany, Tunisia, Morocco)

•       7 days in Tunis, Tunisia 

•       Cultural sciences, cultural policy and social sciences 

•       Workshops, discussions, lectures, field visits 

•       Working language: English


Concept and Idea

The Arab Spring, as a historic caesura opened up new approaches and challenges for local cultural policy and international cultural relations. Artists, cultural producers and activists are crucial part of the transformation process in Tunisia since 2010/11: they demonstrate, rethink and intervene. In this context a high activation in the cultural field in Tunisia can be observed. Artists defined themselves as activists and developed several strategies to implement change, leaving established cultural institutions and promoting art in public space as well as developing new strategies of participatory artistic practices, focusing on an interaction between artists and citizens.

To enable and ensure a vibrant cultural scene and the freedom of art in Tunisia, local cultural policy structures are in processes of redefinition. Supporting local movements is also an obligation in international cultural cooperation. External actors such as the Goethe-Institut develop and implement new culture-specific programs aiming at encouraging and strengthening democratic practices and actors within the cultural sector.  

Against this backdrop, the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development launched the tri-national research atelier with participants from Tunisia, Morocco and Germany in Tunis from 22nd to 28th November 2016. The research atelier takes the opportunity to investigate the role of artists and cultural policies in transitional Tunisia as well as artistic activism as a strategy for change. Furthermore, challenges and opportunities of international engagement will be analyzed.

The research atelier is organized in cooperation with the University of Tunis, Tunisia and the University Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco and funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).


Thematic focus  

The thematic focus of the research atelier is structured in five main topics:

•       Cultural policy – International comparisons in the EURO-MENA region

•       Cultural policy in Tunisia – Responsibility between state and civil society  

•       The Tunisian cultural scene – Artists as actors of change  

•       German foreign cultural policy in Tunisia – The role of the Goethe-Institut

•       Cultural activism and democratization – Potentials, impact and challenges

The research atelier consists of seminars, workshops and discussions with international and local experts as well as Tunisian artists and cultural activists. Evening lectures and field visits to cultural institutions and initiatives will complement the five-day program.


Project team in Germany

University of Hildesheim

Department of Cultural Policy

UNESCO Chair Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development


Prof. Wolfgang Schneider                 Dr. Daniel Gad 



Ms. Meike Lettau, M.A.              Ms. Michèle Brand, M.A. 

Project coordinator                    Project coordinator  






Target group

The research atelier offers the opportunity to learn and exchange in an international academic environment with participants from three countries. It is addressed to qualified Tunisian, Moroccan and German young scientists and students. Candidates should be enrolled as MA or PhD students at a Tunisian, Moroccan or German university in the fields of cultural studies, cultural mediation, cultural policies or social sciences.            

On request the program can be opened to other particularly interested students not matching the above mentioned criteria if an outstanding motivation and qualification is justified.

24 students (8 of each country) will be selected based on their qualification and motivation. Special emphasis is placed on gender balance. A proficient knowledge of English (working language) is mandatory. Each participant is asked to contribute with a short input (e.g. on his/her own research or a topic related to one of the topics of the research atelier). Further information will be given after the selection of candidates.

All program-related costs (e.g. flight, accommodation, meals) will be covered.


Application process

To apply please send the following documents to:  

•       a short CV in English (2-3 pages maximum, table form)

•       a motivation letter (1-2 pages) stating interest, qualifications and expectations as well as a first idea of a short input

Deadline for application is September 15, 2016. Selection will take place in the two following weeks. We are looking forward to receive your application. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any inquiry. 



Ms. Meike Lettau, M.A.                      Ms. Michèle Brand, M.A. 

Project coordinator                            Project coordinator