Carthage Theatre Festival opens curtains under banner of life and resistance through art

The 24th edition of the Carthage Theatre Festival (JTC) on Saturday evening opened curtains in various venues across the capital. A Spanish performance entitled "Finale" was presented on the facade of the Tunis Municipal Theatre, where the official opening ceremony took place. Tunisian Sonia Youni and Jordanian of Palestinian origin Dalel Fayadh were the hosts of the ceremony. The programme at the Opera Theatre in the Tunis City of Culture, where the last four editions of the JTC were held, featured a show by American director Robert Wilson, "Jungle Book." A second performance of this show, representing France, is scheduled for December 3. In solidarity with the Palestinian people, the festivities have been cancelled this year for both the opening and closing ceremonies. A reading of Mahmoud Darwish's poetry was given by Tunisian actor Raouf ben Amor. In his speech at the opening of the JTC, artistic director and president of the organising committee for this year's event Moez Mrabet said: "The JTC has always been and will continue to be a defender of the causes of truth, justice and human dignity wherever they may be, including the Palestinian cause. Yes, we are with you until you become a homeland, as the great poet Mahmud Darwish predicted." He said: "With theatre we live, with art we resist," adding "we proudly raise this slogan to sum up the theme of the current session of the festival." Posthumous tributes were paid to Tunisian figures in the 4th art: Moncef Charfedine, Mohamed Kadous Abdelghani Ben Tara, Rim Hamrouni and Lassaad Mehwachi. Man of theatre and former Minister of Culture Abderraouf Basti, actor Houcine Mahnouch and actress Nejia Ouerghi were honoured alongside 6 figures from Arab and African theatre, including renowned Lebanese actor and director Roger Assaf and his compatriot, actress and playwright Hanan Haj Ali, Iranian actor Amin Zendakni and his compatriot, actress Elham Hamidi, Malian puppeteer Yaya Coulibaly and Egyptian journalist and theatre teacher Hala Sarhan. The JTC's of ficial competition features 11 shows (11) in addition to 24 parallel performances (24), produced by professional Tunisian, Arab and African theatres. The plays in the running for the Tanits represent Côte d'Ivoire, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. The jury for the official competition is headed by Tunisian Wahid EssaSfi, along with Pierre Abi Saab (Lebanon), João Branco (Cape Verde), Naima Zitan (Morocco) and Odile Katese (Rwanda). The JTC will run from December 2 to 10 in various venues, with a selection of 62 shows from 28 countries. Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

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