Thursday, 5 June 2014

"Moi, Président..."


 
Zwewla: Where is the Justice?
 Comparing the present regime to that of Ben Ali
- outside the Palace of Justice, June 3, 2014.
It is Constitution Day in my country, and since we last celebrated it, Tunisia has at long last and with many excuses for the detours along the way gained its own. At the time of its ratification on January 27, Nadia Khiari for one pointed how how in spite of the glossy surface, censorship was very much a reality in the new constitution. To put it short, artistis, authors and journalists will be working under the same conditions as Honoré Daumier in his day.

His publisher, Charles Philipon, ended in jail in 1832 and sadly the problem is already a very real one in Tunisia. The police is acting as if it is above the law, reacting nervously at at time of transitional justice, in the words of Tarek Alghorani. Journalists and bloggers have been arrested, and Zwewla is yet again facing possible legal action for having created graffiti on the subject on social justice.

- Are the walls more sacred that the physical dignity of the citizens? As aptly put by Ghassen Amami.

So let us mark this date with Nadia Khari's Willis of WillisFromTunis at his best. The string of drawings below were made for the documentary Artistes en Tunisie by Serge Moati for ARTE in May. The number of drawings alone turn it into a monologue, addressing the notion of freedom. Freedom equals responsibility, and it is a convenient excuse from a dictator - sorry, president - to claim to take on the responsibility to relieve his fellow men.

While the real cause for his behavior is of course fear, as Willis lays open. The tone and rhythm of each declaration bears a certain resemblance to the classic "Pretentious, moi"-joke of Fawlty Towers?



Me, President...
- I will find the ideal responsible to all your problems!
- It is "the others"!



Me, President...
- I will steal a lot from you!
- But, I will let you steal a little...



Me, President...
- I will do no brainwashing!
- No need for any brain!



Me, President...
- I will fully subsidize the artists!
- Because silence is gold!



Me, President....
- I will be a good dictator!



Me, president...
- I will be of the sort for you to be afraid of!
- So that you will forget that I am very, very afraid of you.



-  and so Zwewla may be next in line to the kind of treatment, with which journalists and even an defense attorney has been met with outside the court. The drawing below was published the day before the monologue above:


Nadia Khiari: WillisFromTunis, May 27, 2014:
The Ministry of Interior gives its excuses to the journalists, 
who were beaten by the police:
- come on, give us a kiss, and we shall speak no more about it...


A very special thank you to Nadia Khiari and Zwewla. See much more of Nadia Khiari in Artistes en Tunisie by Serge Moati for ARTE here.


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