Street art and street culture where you do not expect it. In Tunis, to be precise, where Lang’Art is born: it’s the first training center for street arts ever existed in the Tunisian capital.
Like any urban center that has something to do with the underground, Lang’Art too is housed in an old hangar in Tunis city center, where Bahri Ben Yahmed gave birth to a suitable place to give vent to the imagination of all artists in the city (and to his experience): born in 1977, Bahri is a dancer from 25 years, president of Danseurs Citoyens and member of the International Dance Council UNESCO. He and many other colleagues wanted to give a chance to young people to express their creativity against pre – revolutionary obscurantism in favor of freedom and pluralism. “Our intention – explains Bahri Ben Yahmed – is to use art for democracy. Of course it’s not an easy task: we asked for help to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage but we did not receive it. So we decided, in the last two years, to create from the bottom and independently our project”. And this led to the drafting of a respectable curriculum: “We expect a process of annual training divided in five different disciplines (a theater workshop and clowning techniques, a research workshop on movement and dance, a laboratory of plastic arts and graffiti, experimental cinema and music, especially rap), in four months of learning and two of practice, ending with a festival that will take place in the slums of the city. We’ve been also able to set up a library stocked with books on hip hop culture and street art from all around the world”. The school will begin in October and aims to overcome a critical situation, typical of the Arab world: “Many people – says Bahri Ben Yahmed – founded associations of street art and underground culture, but their sole aim is to participate to private events to perceive some remuneration. Our idea is different: we want to teach young people a real life form, made of respect, sharing, attention to the artistic future of this country. Quite a challenge, especially here where the culture is paternalistic and hard to eradicate”. But it should also be an eye to the future work of those who follow his classes: “I can’t say, because of my long career, that I don’t have any important contacts. Keeping them for me would be useless though: that’s why I decided to become a bridge between these contacts and young people who dream of a future in the world of dance, art and literature. ” The price? Zero. “The school is completely free – concludes Bahri Ben Yahmed – because everyone can afford to take our courses”.
The workshops have already begun, but the school is looking ahead. Bahri has in fact given three years ti the project: three years to break in, to see which changes will be important to do, and to “prove to the authorities who we really are”. Inshallah!