TUNIS- In light of the delicate health situation due to COVID-19, the festivals of Carthage and Hammamet will be organised from mid-August onwards in digital mode and without an audience, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs has announced.
According to TAP news agency, the shows in Carthage and Hammamet, summer festivals will be broadcast simultaneously on television and in digital mode while the programming will be limited to Tunisian shows. All foreign shows are cancelled and will be replaced by shows by local artists.
The same applies to the rest of the summer festivals organised under the supervision of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, which will adopt the same principle for this season. They will be supported by the National Establishment for the Promotion of Festivals and Cultural and Artistic Events (ENPFMCA).
Several decisions concerning the summer artistic season were also announced at the end of a working session, held on Wednesday, July 14, at the Kasbah, between Habib Ammar, Acting Minister of Cultural Affairs and several officials of public cultural institutions.
"In parallel with the broadcasting of shows, the orientation towards digital will be an opportunity to promote the tangible and intangible cultural heritage, including historical sites and monuments in the country", the ministry said in a statement.
This strategy will be implemented in the framework of a partnership and in coordination with the institutions concerned (INP, AMVPPC, etc.) which will ensure the choice of content to be broadcast in parallel with the shows.
The Ministry insists on the quality of the content, linked to the national heritage, to be disseminated through adequate technical and logistical means.
The summer festival events that are not organised directly by the Ministry are also called upon to make use of modern and digital means of communication. In view of the development of the epidemic situation on a national, regional and international scale, the Ministry encourages greater digital adoption in future festival programming.
With regard to publicly funded performances, coordination will continue between the institutions under the Ministry, the regional delegations for cultural affairs and the organising committees of festivals in the different regions of the Republic.
The institutions and bodies under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs are called upon to organise digital artistic and cultural events. The aim is to preserve the continuity of cultural activities in the country and to allow a maximum of artists and cultural actors to participate.
In the same press release, the Ministry also announces that it has been agreed to adopt a roadmap for sustainable cultural and artistic scheduling that coincides with the epidemic situation. Cultural decentralisation and young creators will be at the heart of future cultural programmes, while ensuring that initiatives are open to all creative forms.
In order to overcome the crisis in the sector, social measures for the benefit of artists and creators will be introduced. This support programme will be carried out in coordination with the official bodies of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Ministries of Finance and Social Affairs.
The Ministry is counting on a greater role for the Mutual Society for Artists, Creators and Technicians in the cultural sector and the Tunisian Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Organisation (OTDAV).
Since the beginning of the health crisis in March 2020, the cultural and artistic sector has been heavily affected by containment measures and the suspension of activities on several occasions.
For the second year in a row, the summer artistic season in Tunisia is disrupted. The health situation in the country is still delicate with a high number of deaths and positive cases.
In accordance with national measures taken at the end of June to combat the alarming spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs decided to suspend all cultural and artistic events.
This decision was to remain in force until the beginning of August, depending on the health situation. Several summer festivals have been postponed, while others have announced the postponement of the 2021 edition to next year.