Founded in 2013, Jaou Tunis is a moving platform seeking to further artistic expressions within the MENA region through art. Designed as a cultural caravan uniting a cross-section of the community’s most passionate stakeholders, this four-day celebration. Jaou brings together artists, curators, and cultural thinkers, to explore the complex definition of heritage in Tunisia’s post-revolution existence. The 2015 edition dealt with terrorism and religious fanaticism, whilst the 2017 edition tackled the issue of migration. For the 2018 edition, Jaou explored the idea of ‘approved heritage,’ through the four elements; Earth, Fire, Wind and Water. These familiar categories provided a lends to investigate the complex landscape of Tunisia’s fragile present condition, and in particular, its cultural narrative. The politicisation of Tunisia’s heritage has been entirely inconsistent with how Tunisian’s actually view themselves – Jaou posed the simple question; to whom does heritage belong?
This past edition that took place between 27th June to 1st July consisted of concerts, theatre, conversations, discussions, screenings and the opening of four, unique, contemporary art exhibitions; Water, Earth, Fire and Air, led by Tunisian curators each inspiring selected participants to take part in a cultural assessment of their own. Myriam Ben Salah curated the exhibition ‘Water Pressure’ takes the theme of water as a way to talk about pressure exerted on collective and individual bodies, of Mediterranean youth, and liquidity. Artists presented included Alex Ayed, Ayla Hibri, Jessy Moussallem, Ligia Lewis, Lydia Ourahmane, Meriem Bennani, Mounira Al Solh and Philippe Parreno. Curator Amel Ben Attia took them the theme of embracing fire with works by Georges Mehdi, Ismahan Tlig & Ogra, Mustafa Azeroual, Mohssin Harraki, Monira Al Qadiri, Maha Malluh, Sonia Kellel, Ymane Fakhir, Ben Slimane Younes and Zineb Sedira. Curator Aziza Harmel presented the theme of with Ali Cherri, Aram Kamrooz, Farah Khelil, Haleh Redjaian, Hazem Harb, Moataz Nasr,Malek Gnaoui, Shahpour Pouyan, Tarek Zaki and Yazid Oulab. Curator, Aziza Hamel explored Air with ‘Ruins are what mortals do as they live’ with artists Alejandro Cesarco, Fakhri El Ghezal, Fotini Gouseti, Kamel Moussa, Miguel Mitlag, Mohamed Ben Slama, Naeem Mohaiemen, Narimane Mari, Patricia Esquivias Steffen Martin and Yesmine Ben Khelil.
Further information about Jaou organised by the Kamel Lazar Foundation can be found in the links below: