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Alfakir, Jihad

Research Interests:

Religious Studies (Intersectionality)

Geographical Area:


Current Project :

Queer and Intersectional artivism in Tunisia : the Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival 

The political change in Tunisia after the 2010-2011 revolution opened up opportunities for numerous underground and censored movement to 'come out' and participate openly and legally in the democratic process of the post-revolution Tunisia. LGBTQI+ groups, who were actively involved in the revolution, later founded organizations that mainly defend the rights of the LGBTQI+ citizens. One of the organizations is called Mawjoudin (we exist). Among multiple activities, Majoudin organizes the annual Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival. This dissertation investigates the Festival to understand broader issues in relation to politics of sexualities and democracy in Tunisia. Focusing on the aesthetics and politics of the festival, I will demonstrate that the Queer Festival is involved in the spirit of the revolution and later political developments as transformative artistic performances. It also creates venues to further debate questions of LGBTQI+ rights and freedom as well as the struggle for social justice and equality.

This project asks: how is the Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival queering the post-revolution Tunisia and subsequently Africa? Is the festival only an occasion to show movies or performances? Or is it rather a continuation of the protest that started on the street? How is it possible that such a festival could take place, in country that penalizes relations of the same-sex? Nevertheless, what about other intersecting systems of domination and hierarchies?

How is the festival participating in the process of socio-political change? Finally, how is the festival pluralizing locations for queer African solidarities and transnational imaginations?

What are the manifestations of the festival's decolonial interventions other than "decolonizing the dance floor"? Does this festival reconfigure the debate about the sexuality and African Studies?


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