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Hampshire College

Publication Date

Fall 2014

Program Name

Tunisia: Emerging Identities in North Africa

Abstract

The 2010-11 Tunisian revolution brought to the forefront of the country an explosion of activism and organizing from civil society, including multiple voices urging for the defense, protection and/or recognition of Tunisian ‘minorities.’ An unprecedented Amazigh (pl. Imazighen, the indigenous population of North Africa) wave of activism from individuals and organizations appeared in the public sphere of the country, a population systematically denied and marginalized by the Tunisian dictatorships and society emboldened to stand up for their rights and challenge the status quo. In the post-revolutionary context of thispseudo-homogenous North African country, dominated by a strong Arab/Islamic ideology since independence, Amazigh citizens and allieshave been mobilizing to bring up uncomfortable questions to their government andfellow civil society members. This paper seeks to explore this nascent movement through interviews with different actors involved in these contextuallynew and controversial discussions, with the objective of shedding light on this mostlyoverlooked subject and to problematizecommon perceptions of the Tunisian Imazighen and the society’s supposed Arab homogeneity.

Disciplines

African Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Mass Communication | Political Science | Social Influence and Political Communication | Sociology

 

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