For the entire month of May, the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) is celebrating Tunisia in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and this weekend it’s souk time – in NYC’s upper east side. From May 8-10, a host of Tunisian crafts and food items will make their big city debut at the Tinker auditorium on E 59th street.
Part of the month-long biennial World Nomads Festival, the event is designed to promote awareness of 21st century transculturalism in the Francophone world.
All of our favorite goodies from a Tunisian souk will be available in NYC this weekend, including djebbas and Berber kaftans, along with an array of linen, cotton or silk scarves and fouta hammam towels.
Tunisian artisans will achieve international recognition as hand-woven and embroidered rugs feature alongside hand-blown glassware, traditional copper and silver works, and cotton, wool and linen pillows, throws, curtains and bedspreads.
And what kind of souk is complete without sweet mint tea and Tunisian pastries? We won’t have to find out because these and other Tunisian fixtures will also be available at the FIFA event.
In addition to the souk this weekend, the cultural festival has invited Tunisian artists and other influential people to New York City to act as creative ambassadors to a country in deep flux.
El Seed, the graffiti artist who recently sprayed Tunisia’s tallest minaret was invited to show off his unique calligraffiti style at the IDEAS CITY Festival last weekend.
One of the most beloved Arab world musicians, Sonia M’Barek kicked off the World Nomads Festival this year with a magnificent performance at Florence Gould Hall. The New York Times called the event “compelling.”
Jonah Bokaer will also perform the The Ulysses Syndrome dance at Florence Gould Hall this weekend, and a host of other musical, dance and cinematic performances will take place throughout the rest of the month – including a night above the skyline filled with Tunisian beats spun by DJs Zinga, Raouf, and Ogra of the Tunis-based electronic music collective Waveform.
Whether you’re an expat stranded in the big city, or a Tunisian arts, crafts and performance virgin, the World Nomads Festival will transport you to a whole new world – a world that is imperiled by the volatile politics that have rocked the Middle East and North African region.
Visit FIAF for more details.