Thursday 19 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/22/18)
Claudia Cardinale, the Tunis-born Italian movie star, was the guest of honour on Wednesday as Tunisia inaugurated a long-awaited complex to showcase its cultural wealth. The richly equipped City of Culture complex, launched a decade ago but long stalled, incorporates a modern art museum, a 1,800-seat opera, two theatres, a cinema, library and studios to host festivals. "Every Tunisian should be proud of this project, culture is the main tool with which we will fight terrorism," President Beji Caid Essebsi said at the opening ceremony. "Tunisians have to dream and have confidence in themselves." The project was initially launched under president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, who was overthrown in a 2011 revolution. Located in...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A thousand artists from over 50 countries will gather in Ivory Coast on Saturday for a week-long festival of African music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and storytelling. The 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French initials as MASA, will mark the 25th anniversary of the event. This year's crop of artists come from all over Africa and the African diaspora in Japan, Haiti and Canada, performing in the economic capital Abidjan and five other cities, the organisers said. Artists include Ivorian jazz fusion drummer Paco Sery, traditionalist Malian singers P-Pentatonique and Cape Verde's Maria de Barros. MASA was launched in 1993 by the International Organisation of La Francophonie, which represents French-speaking countries...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
Tunisia's ministry of culture has banned the Oscar-nominated film "Call Me By Your Name", a love story between two men, one of its main distributors said on Wednesday. The feature film was due to be screened on Wednesday night in the capital Tunis but the venue announced on Facebook that the event had been "cancelled". It was "banned," the distributor Lassaad Goubantini told AFP, denouncing the decision as "an attack on liberties" motivated by "the subject of the film". A...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
The first ever film festival celebrating the LGBT community is underway in Tunisia, a Muslim country where homosexuals can face up to three years in prison. Twelve short and medium-length films produced in Tunisia and across the Middle East and North Africa are being shown at the "Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival" that opened Monday. The four-day event is organised by Mawjoudin, Arabic for "We Exist", a Tunisian non-governmental association which defends the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is the first event of its kind in Tunisia and the organisers say the "festival conceives of itself as audacious".
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
The story of an epic train journey across war-torn Mozambique by a Brazilian director has been awarded the top prize at Tunisia's Carthage Film Festival. "The Train of Salt and Sugar" by Licinio Azevedo, a Brazilian who lives in the African country, received the Tanit d'Or as the festival wrapped up on Saturday. Like a Western, the film follows the perilous journey of a train that sets off across rebel-held areas to exchange salt for sugar in 1989 during Mozambique's...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
A frank documentary about the lives of gay Tunisians received an enthusiastic welcome at a local film festival Friday despite homosexuality being a crime in the North African country. "It's brilliant. If this film made it, then of course we can screen many others," said Sikander, a member of the audience who only gave his first name, as he left the theatre at the Carthage Film Festival. The room of 500 seats was not big enough to fit all those...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
A Tunisian court has banned the US film "Wonder Woman" which stars an Israeli actress, more than a month after it had been scheduled to open at cinemas in the Arab state, a legal source said Wednesday. Lebanon has also banned Wonder Woman, on the grounds of a long-standing boycott of Israel. The film was to have been screened at two venues in Tunis in early June but the showings were "suspended" following a complaint from the nationalist Al-Chaab party...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong...
(AFP (eng) 05/13/17)
​An annual Jewish pilgrimage to Africa's oldest synagogue on Tunisia's Djerba island began on Friday under tight security but in a festive mood. An AFP journalist saw dozens of pilgrims from the North African country and from France heading to the revered Ghriba synagogue to pray, light candles and write wishes on eggs. Some celebrated the centuries-old Lag BaOmer festival by sipping glasses of boukha, a liqueur made from figs. "My parents brought me to Djerba when I was a...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Israel warned its citizens on Wednesday against visiting Tunisia, where Jewish pilgrims will celebrate a religious festival later this month, citing the threat of jihadist attack. It also said any Israelis there should "leave the country immediately." The festival of Lag BaOmer draws hundreds of Jews to tombs of revered rabbis as well as the famed El Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian holiday island of Djerba. This year the pilgrimage is due to start on May 12, according to organisers...
(AFP (eng) 05/03/17)
Tunisian and international non-governmental organisations warned Tuesday of deteriorating freedom of the press in a country considered to be a rare success story of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. "The Tunisian government these past weeks has not stopped tightening its grip on the press," they said in a joint statement published on World Press Freedom Day. Twenty-five associations, including the Tunisian Press Syndicate, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Amnesty International, said they were "deeply concerned" about the creation of a regulatory body for audiovisual communication. Six years after a popular uprising toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the rights groups expressed concern about the recent banning of a small daily
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
Tunisian authorities have shut down a nightclub and begun an investigation after a DJ played a remix recording of the Muslim call to prayer, an official said Monday. A video, widely shared online since Sunday, shows clubbers dancing at the weekend in the northeastern town of Nabeul to music that includes the call to prayer. The footage sparked a storm of debate on social media. Two European DJs played at the party on Friday as part of a music festival...
(Middle East Monitor 03/30/17)
Egyptian artist Bahia Shehab and French-Tunisian artist eL Seed have been awarded the UNESCO-Sharjah prize for Arab culture for their innovative use of Arabic calligraphy in street art. Shehab, who is the first woman in the region to receive the award, has said that art can be a tool for change that can encourage people to engage for justice. Her work “No, A Thousand Times No” began with the compilation of 1,000 “nos” as they had been depicted on anything...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps...

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