Innawaation

In efforts to develop its multimedia platform, Nawaat.org is opening up to creative forces in the domains of art and technology in order to offer more innovative content. We are calling on artists, multimedia technicians, developers, web architects, designers and, of course, journalists to join in our efforts.

Innawaation is our new project aiming to expand our model with tools and content that include the diverse disciplines cited above. Innawaation is a creative media projects incubator structured around a series of residencies and events. These collaborations will take place during sessions that span 3 to 6 months of work, and will be presented online or during exhibitions.

For these residencies/collaborations, Nawaat will provide participants with a production budget as well as individual support in order to develop projects and other media content, notably in close collaboration with its permanent team. Nawaat’s technical and logistical infrastructure plus its human resources will also be available to participants.

OBJECTIVES

  • Strengthen the links between art, journalism, new technologies and social and citizen engagement.
  • Establish a tradition that involves artists, journalists and techies in a participative and immersive approach.
  • Rethink quality journalism and introduce creative tools through arts and technologies.
  • Bring artists to take part in citizen and media action.
  • Promote access to artistic and cultural content.

Selected Residents 1st round

On July 22, 2020, Nawaat launched the 1st call for projects for the 1st round (of 4) of Innawaation. Tens of projects were submitted and three applicants were selected:

Selim Harbi

Selim Harbi

Transmedia storyteller & journalist, award-winning director, TEDx Speaker and World Press Photo grantee. Based between Tunis and Berlin, Selim holds a BA in screen-based and audiovisual media. As a beauty hunter, world connector and passionate traveler, he loves to redefine things, and is particularly interested in contemporary African and diaspora issues. With a special flair for tech-trends and experimentation, he designs cutting-edge projects with new media tools. He is always looking for new challenges and to make a positive impact.

Project

7OUMA* VR Immersion into Tunis most disadvantaged neighborhoods

This project is a deep dive into the unseen Tunis. A unique introspection into marginal spaces in Tunisia today, 10 years after the revolution. Based on meticulous journalistic research and character-driven narratives, this project will immerse us within the social-economic issues facing disadvantaged communities and neighborhoods surrounding Tunisia’s capital. Poor infrastructure, lack of urban planning, absence of green and cultural spaces, degraded public services such as schools, hospitals and transportation, marginalized unemployed youth—daily life in the city’s impoverished outskirts that is home to a hundred thousand abandoned individuals will be the target of this project. We will use VR and 360° videos as tools to access forgotten spaces and to engage with the neglected communities that live there. We will experiment with immersive journalism in order to stretch the boundaries of storytelling to enrich Tunisia’s media landscape and engage new audiences regarding important issues.

We will focus on the disastrous environment in which these communities are living, and also give voice to the citizens who are doing their best to improve their neighborhoods. Combining innovative journalism with socio-economic reporting, each story will confront our audience with the real lives of those living in these impoverished neighborhoods hidden behind the highways of Tunis. We will go to three Tunisian favelas : Hay Hlel, Djebel Jelloud and Sidi Hassine. In each neighborhood, we will meet one or two residents with compelling stories, take videos, and put it all together in a well-designed web VR platform.

7OUMA VR project wants to engage local audience in a fully different way :

  • producing compelling 360°character-driven stories for web VR.
  • designing the stories as stand-alone App downloadable for VR headset users.
  • integrating it in the on-going Nawaat interactive Web-doc “Mapping the disadvantaged“.
  • producing a fully spatialized audio-podcast out of the stories.We will organize a VR workshop to empower local journalists with new skills.

* Pronounced Hūma: neighbourhood in Tunisian dialect.

-Z-

-Z-

-Z- is a cyber activist-cartoonist. He became known through his blog debatunisie.com, where he has been reviewing and commenting on Tunisian news since 2007. Thanks to his anonymity, -Z- eloquently attacked the Ben Ali regime. His drawings and texts circulated on the net in spite of censorship. Tunisia’s revolution allowed the blogger to publish his first album in Tunisia and to publicize his work in the national and foreign press. Even today, -Z- preserves his anonymity and maintains his blog where he continues to attack Tunisia’s raging corruption and “Capitallahisme”—a neologism he created to stigmatize the marriage between power, money and religion.

Project

Psycaricatures Exhibition and animated Psycaricatures

-Z- has collaborated with Nawaat since 2018 through his caricatures of political personalities which he aptly calls “psycarciatures”. The drawings serve as a psychoanalysis which reveals the hidden side of the individuals in question. Nawaat’s editorial staff propose the public figure who -Z- subsequently analyzes using this news-based process.

The fruit of this rich collaboration is an exhibition in Tunis that will be organized by -Z- and Nawaat to the end of translating this collection of portraits of political figures into a large format. Through these “psycaricatures”, we offer a glimpse into Tunisian news over the past two years. The individuals presented are always controversial personalities who have sparked politicized debates in the media. Through this exhibition, we will fulfill a dream held since the dictatorship of Ben Ali: to expose and mock, in full freedom, the dark side of those who govern us. -Z- is excited to put this work on display in collaboration with Nawaat, with whom he has maintained a strong friendship even prior to the revolution owing to the common struggle for freedom of expression.

Finally, the exhibition will not only include the restitution of old psycaricatures, but feature new drawings as well. With the help of animator-director Alaa Eddine Abou Taleb, we will produce an animation of 2 or 3 portraits which will be available online and serve as web comm announcing the exhibition.

Aymen Khemis

Aymen Khemis

After obtaining an applied bachelor’s degree in writing and directing at ISAMM (Higher Institute of Arts Manouba Multimedia) and a professional master’s degree in film arts specializing in editing at ESAC, Khemis’ career began with the production of two short fiction films; “Where” (2016, PFE) and “Exit Project” (2017, produced with the support of “Culturel Franco-Allemand”). Subsequently, Khemis turned towards bolder, free autonomous visual creative approaches, and carried out a cluster of visual art projects including “Parcours” (2018,supported by La Bobine); “Aphone” (2019,produced by La Fémis); two videos, “îlot” (2019); a photo series with excerpts from Beckett’s books, “Croisée” (2020, supported by the Kamel Lazaar Foundation); documentary / 2D animation. Currently he is working on a stop-motion video “Homo-épic” and a video installation, “Crèche noire”.

Project

Transit A documentary film about a coffee house in a small city near the border with Algeria

One day while passing through a city near the border with Algeria, I was marked by a popular coffee house. I found that the place was a space conducive to all movements and social, political and sexual issues … this was where they take shape. This setting challenged and inspired me.

Public space represents a place where the rights and freedoms of citizens are guaranteed. However, places of meeting and sharing are almost absent in this city. The coffee house seems to be the only setting that fills this void in the city. This aspect is amplified by the freezing cold of the region. This means that the coffee house is not only a simple transversal place in the daily life of the inhabitants but a kind of theater showing their weekly activities. It is an opportunity to express oneself freely (in this masculine-dominated world, taboos disappear even when discussing political or sexual matters).

The atmosphere and the status of city’s coffee house touched me, but so did the history of the city. The Algerian-Tunisian border (the coffee house is 200 meters from the border, which constitutes the city’s main economic artery) also aroused my curiosity. Then there is the clear sense of abandonment among the city’s inhabitants. They feel neglected by both Tunisia and Algeria. This unique universe that exists inside this little coffee house is the last stop for travelers and truck drivers before crossing the border.

In filming this coffee house, I aim to paint a portrait of the city. The idea is neither to judge the characters nor to evoke the pity of spectators, but rather to frame the characters in this space, to become an element of their daily lives, to observe and capture this setting in order to relay a faithful and realistic image of life in the city.