International Day of Non-Violence: Young Tunisians speak out against violence in new series of short films

To mark International Day of Non-Violence (2 October), International Alert has launched a series of short films shedding light on violence faced by marginalised communities in Tunisia – almost 10 years after the revolution.

Written and directed by Samed Hajji and with the participation of youth from the marginalised area of Douar Hicher in the suburbs of Tunis, Four days of violence presents violence as a complex phenomenon and offers a rare glimpse into the stigma, harassment and other abuses youth face on a daily basis.

These include human rights violations, institutional violence, gender-based violence, or violence in the home or the workplace are also rife.

Yet with no support or legal protection, these young people have nowhere to turn.

The series of short films provides a tool for local civil society to engage authorities and citizens in the fight against urban and gender-based violence and promote respect for human rights.

The films also emphasise the importance of social, cultural and political solutions along with legal measures to cure the source of the problem.

Hamza Dhifallah from Douar Hicher, one of the young people featured, said:

“In our neighbourhood, we rarely have an opportunity to voice our experiences, but we can’t stay silent about the violence that we see our friends, families and neighbours face. We made these films to help others understand we have a right not to face violence by law and we should stand up for those rights.”

International Alert brought 20 young people together to act in the films with training from a professional film team and director Samed Hajji.

Each film is a video diary, and follows a character throughout one day.

International Alert has been working in the suburbs of Tunis since 2014, to promote democratic and participatory local governance aimed at the economic and social inclusion of youth. Our research has shown economic and political participation is lacking, but is crucial to a transition to democracy in Tunisia. To achieve this, Alert has been working with young people to raise their voices and call for more accountability from the government and institutions.

In Douar Hichar, economic and social violence is a crucial issue in the lives of young people and so far has been poorly documented.

Mehdi Barhoumi, Programmes Manager at International Alert Tunisia said:

“The current debate on violence in Tunisia focuses only on punishment and sentencing. The stories of these young people show that in order to end the daily violence faced by marginalised communities, we need a more nuanced understanding of violence in all its forms, particularly institutional violence and stigmatisation, and empower young people and their communities to stand up for their rights. The films reveal not only a vision of today but promote action for a future with no human rights violation in any forms.”

ENDS

Notes for editors

Four days of violence will be launched on Friday 2 October (International Day of Non-Violence) on International Alert’s Facebook pages, under the campaign message: Violence takes many forms, don’t keep quiet!

https://www.facebook.com/internationalalerttunisie

https://www.facebook.com/InternationalAlert

Watch the films

Adam's Story : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8r2i7zd5_8
Imed's Story : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxqcIGE78oQ
Amira's Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJXAjnln018
Ahmed's Story : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJtKB8Cd3oc

Main credits

  • Writen and directed by: Samed Hajji
  • Director of photography: Adonis Romdhane
  • Music and sound design: Arthur Jeaulin
  • Sound: Akram Ben Salem
  • With: Issam Rahali, Aziz Hermi, Hamza Dhifalli, Oumaima Ghouili

Contact

Julia Karlysheva media@international-alert.org

About International Alert

International Alert is a leading peacebuilding organisation that works with people directly affected by conflict to build lasting peace. Founded in 1986, International Alert works in over 25 countries and territories.

In Tunisia we support the democratic transition process by promoting the inclusion of excluded and marginalised groups. Find out more: https://www.international-alert.org/where-we-work/tunisia