Posts Tagged ‘arab spring’

This is the second and final film which I produced in Tunisia this (Northern) Spring. It took a while to cut the first of two films, then to cut and promote this one. Journeyman Pictures took it a month or two ago with some success in Scandinavia (thank you, public broadcasting), and I was holding off on promoting it myself until smh.tv/Fairfax Media set up the pay per click streaming of it. They appear to be having some issues over at Fairfax so I’m posting it myself now. Please enjoy, and share.

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I haven’t posted anything for a little while as I’ve been focused on getting my films on Tunisia finished (I’ll post the links to the second one quite soon) and working a fair bit back at SBS World News Australia, which has been good.  Editorially, it’s head and shoulders above everyone else in Aus. For globally-minded journalists in this country, there’s no better employer. Here’s a piece I produced on protests hitting Jordan the other week. Jordan saw some of the biggest protests since the pro-democracy movement took off in the Arab world almost two years ago. It wasn’t as big as the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition parties had hoped, but it’s significant. The King is going to have to offer something special.

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Religious minorities are concerned at the rise of puritanical Islamic groups in post-revolution Tunisia – I’ve cut this package and it’s available for sale. Please leave a comment or contact @billcode on Twitter if you’re interested in screening it.

 

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Update: If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, please watch this film here on the smh.tv websiteand not below on YouTube. You’ll keep a freelance journalist fed that way.

After the Tunisian revolution, the Islamist-led coalition government is facing pressure from the liberal elite on one side, and Muslim hardliners on the other. But one group it needs to focus on, as ever, are the youth of the country’s interior; still unemployed, still unsatisfied, and still fighting eighteen months after kicking off the Arab Spring. This is the first of two current affairs films I’m cutting on returning from Tunisia. As the watermark shows, Journeyman Pictures are helping promote it. Fingers crossed – if you’re interested in screening it in full or in part, leave a comment or hit me up @billcode on Twitter.

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Can’t write – busy editing film on Tunisia quick-sharp – but here’s a piece which appeared in New Matilda this week.

Some of the worst violence since the 2011 revolution hit cities across Tunisia on Tuesday after an art exhibition deemed blasphemous to Islam became a target for ultra-conservative Muslims protesters.

Police stations, a courthouse, and the offices of secular political groups were targeted in a wave of violence which saw 165 arrests and scores of injuries.

For many secular Tunisians, the violence was no surprise; Salafist groups and their followers are staking their claims in the post-revolutionary landscape, and the government is accused of being too soft.

The moderate Islamists who lead the government were quick to put a curfew in place in many cities as well as blame “terrorists” for the violence.

As they wake up — some may say finally — to the threat on their religious right, it’s worth noting that other interest groups are also speaking up, gay and lesbian Tunisians among them.

If you’d asked me where in Tunisia you might stumble across a bar which serves as a gay meeting place, I would have picked where I’ve been living — Tunis.

But then I visited the mass-tourism coastal town of Sousse.

 
And if you’re a current affairs EP – I’m selling a bloody great film on Tunisia this week! 

Here’s a recent blog post for SBS News on Tunisia’s Jewish community and the Ghriba festival of Djerba.

‘My son moved away to France, all of the young people did’, the lady showing me around Tunis’s huge Synagogue tells me.

‘How would they find someone to marry here?’

Amid the enormous art deco building heavily guarded day and night, it was a reminder of how the Jewish population of Tunisia has seen its population shrink in the twentieth century.

We sat in a small antechamber where today’s ceremonies are held; there are only a few hundred Jews left in Tunis; down from a national population of perhaps a hundred thousand at the time of the creation of Israel. Many have headed there, and to France.

I visit the Synagogue in the morning before heading down to the island of Djerba for the famed Jewish Ghriba pilgrimage.

Read this post at SBS News.

After seven weeks of trying, I finally interviewed Ennahda leader Rashid Ghannouchi, who will feature in one or two of the current affairs films I am producing on life in post-revolution Tunisia.

It was quite a privilege – he’s clearly one of the most important Islamists in the world, and perhaps the most important person in Tunisia right now. If it’s policy, he’s had a big say.

Here’s the section where I field a few questions on Ennahda’s stance on press freedom in Tunisia.
 
 
Some of these thoughts feature in a piece I wrote on press freedom which appeared in New Matilda.
 
If you’d like to know more about the films I am making on life for religious minorities in the wake of the revolution, as well as the huge economic and political challenges facing the new government, leave a comment or fire a tweet @billcode