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Report from Tunisia, Nicene Kossentini

Creative Time's Marisa Mazria Katz visited video artist and photographer, Nicene Kossentini, in her studio in Tunis, a year after the country’s uprising against Tunisian dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Nicene was among the tens of thousands of people who demonstrated in downtown Tunis, on January 14th, 2011. That day, the Tunisan ruler dissolved his government and fled to his current home of Saudi Arabia.

Nicene’s work revolves around video pieces and photography. Her latest solo exhibition, Boujmal, was a photographic series of reprinted portraits of her mother, grandmother and great grandmothers, set amongst a backdrop of a desiccated salt lake found in her natal city of Sfax. It was displayed at the Selma Feriani gallery in London, UK.

She also explores her ancestry and her country’s history in Revenir, a video piece where a ghostly figure peers at an old family photograph.

Her work is currently on show at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, France.

This segment was produced by Marisa Mazria Katz with the assistance of Pauline Eiferman as part of Creative Time's Global Initiatives series.


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Creative Time is a New York-based non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning, presenting and preserving the most challenging, pioneering and exceptional art of the contemporary period. Its prerogative is advancing and fostering the artist, creating a space where ideas are valued over economics and artistic and intellectual engagement with the public are encouraged over exclusivity. The goal is a democratic one: for the use of free space and a creation of dialogue in the public arena.

Creative Time was founded in 1974 and has, since its foundation, encouraged artistic and public discourse with the preeminent social, cultural, political and environmental issues and concerns of our contemporary period. It has encouraged artists to address timely issues such as the AIDS pandemic, domestic violence and racial inequality, including among its alumni community Vito Acconci, Diller + Scofidio, David Byrne, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Red Grooms, Jenny Holzer, Takashi Murakami, Shirin Neshat, Sonic Youth, Elizabeth Streb and a near-infinitude more. 

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