Tunis – In Tunisia, a country gripped by economic uncertainty and still in the midst of rebuilding its identity after the Arab Spring, hip-hop culture is viewed as part of an ongoing dissident movement.
Just a few events, such as the recent Mafia Wallitili Festival in the heart of downtown Tunis, offer the local hip-hop community an opportunity to share their values with the broader population.
This year, the three-day event focused on Tunisia’s youth, offering free workshops and performance events. Crowds packed the whole block, saying they were determined to keep practising the arts of dance, graffiti and music.
“It gives a lot of hope to the youth,” festival host Chouaib Cheu told Al Jazeera. His association, Art Solution, has also served as an important bridge between people from Tunisia’s roughest neighbourhoods and the established hip-hop community.
Shaking up cultural norms, Tunisia’s hip-hop culture stems from the frustrations of the country’s disillusioned youth, who have sought to paint a picture of a society torn up by social injustices.