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  • Writer's pictureMajid Alhusseini

11 Tunisian Creatives You Don't Want to Miss out on this year

Updated: Jun 11



Tunisia, with its rich cultural heritage and burgeoning artistic scene, is home to a diverse array of talented creatives who are making waves both locally and internationally. As we step into 2024, here are eleven Tunisian creatives across various disciplines whose innovative work promises to captivate and inspire audiences around the world.


Samara



Semah Riahi, known by his stage name Samara, is a Tunisian rapper from Menzel Bourguiba in Bizerte. He entered the music scene around 2013 and gained significant recognition with the release of his album "Cuba" in 2016.


A standout track from this album, "Ya 7ouma," quickly became popular, establishing Samara as a prominent figure in Tunisian rap. The album "Cuba" highlighted his distinctive style and musical talent, capturing the attention of both audiences and critics.


Samara's impact with "Cuba" and the success of "Ya 7ouma" marked a pivotal moment in his career, solidifying his position as a rising star in the Tunisian music industry. His contributions to the rap scene in Tunisia reflect his artistry and storytelling, resonating with listeners and earning him a dedicated fan base.




Balti



Mohamed Salah Balti, better known by his stage name Balti, is a well-established Tunisian rapper, singer, and composer. He is also the creative force behind the band X-tension. Balti's musical journey began with the band Wled Bled, where he collaborated with renowned musicians. However, it was in 2002 when he gained widespread fame after releasing his unofficial debut album in collaboration with DJ Danjer. Since then, Balti has consistently remained among Tunisia's top-rated artists. His ability to seamlessly blend various musical genres has earned him acclaim and a devoted fan base. Balti's contributions to the Tunisian music scene continue to resonate, making him a standout figure in the industry.


Baya



Baya stands out as one of Tunisia's most talented singers, infusing her tracks with deep emotions and soothing vocals that resonate with listeners. Through her music, she delves into personal feelings and experiences, creating a relatable narrative that strikes a chord with many. Some of her standout tracks include "Not Better," "Ache & Relief," and her latest EP "Early twenty's," a collaborative effort with producer Catcher. With her captivating voice and heartfelt lyrics, Baya continues to captivate audiences and establish herself as a prominent figure in the Tunisian music scene.


Amina Amoniak



Born in Kelibia and currently residing in the coastal town of La Marsa, Amina has built a reputation over the past few years as one of the leading graphic designers in the country. She started her career in advertising but has since transitioned to freelancing, working on diverse projects throughout Tunisia and the Arab world. As a visual artist, Amina uses her social media platforms to highlight both her own work and the work of others. Additionally, she regularly hosts art workshops for some of Tunisia’s most underserved communities.


Abdelhamid Bouchnak



Abdulhamid Bouchnak, the creative mind behind Tunisia’s inaugural horror film "Dachra," is making waves in the country's cinematic landscape. The movie follows a journalism student and his companions as they find themselves ensnared in an isolated village while unraveling a long-forgotten criminal mystery. As the son of Tunisian singer Lotfi Bouchnak, Bouchnak brings a unique perspective to his work, drawing inspiration from his rich cultural heritage.


Prior to "Dachra," Bouchnak gained recognition for his TV series "Nouba," which aired during Ramadan. Set in 1990s Tunisia, "Nouba" intricately weaves together tales of love and the traditional art of mezwed, offering viewers a glimpse into the cultural tapestry of the era. Bouchnak's ability to craft compelling narratives that resonate with audiences underscores his talent as a filmmaker and storyteller, cementing his status as a notable figure in Tunisian cinema.


4LFA



In the realm of Tunisian rap, Saif Amri, better known as Alfa, is a prominent figure. Hailing from the city of Kasserine in southern Tunisia, Alfa is one of the pioneering rappers from the region. His debut album, ‘Kima Na’, released in 2018, was a massive success. His tracks ‘Youma Ma’ and ‘Beautiful’ have each garnered over three million views on YouTube, cementing his status in the industry.


Dora Dalila Cheffi



Drawing inspiration from her inner identity, the Tunisian-Finnish artist harnesses her creative energy to explore themes of belonging and cultural heritage. While spending the majority of her life in Finland, Cheffi made the decision to relocate to Tunisia in 2018 in search of a deeper connection to her roots. Her inaugural solo exhibition, "Bitter Oranges," encapsulated her journey and experiences flawlessly, serving as a poignant reflection of her quest for identity.


Since her arrival in Tunisia, Cheffi has seamlessly integrated herself into the country's vibrant creative community. Moreover, she has garnered international recognition, with her latest series, ‘Imitating Equilibrium,’ being showcased in an online solo exhibition by Taymour Grahne Projects. Through her art, Cheffi continues to navigate the complexities of identity, bridging the gap between her Finnish upbringing and Tunisian heritage while leaving an indelible mark on the global art scene.


Ilyes Cherni



The career of this Tunisian film director is notably marked by his contributions to the music scene. The young filmmaker directed the music video for BLTNM’s ‘Mantika’ and several videos for 4lfa. He is also the creative force behind the Tunis-based audiovisual and cinematic studio Hokka Hendy, and the Analog Case initiative, which features a collection of abstract and experimental artistic experiences inspired by everyday life.


Nadia Kaabi-Linke



A true cosmopolitan, Nadia Kaabi-Linke's upbringing spans across diverse cultural landscapes, having lived in Tunisia, Kiev, and Dubai. Her academic journey took her through the corridors of Paris and Tunis, further enriching her global perspective. Currently dividing her time between Berlin and Tunis, Kaabi-Linke's artistic footprint extends far beyond geographical boundaries.


Her exhibitions have graced esteemed galleries and venues worldwide, from Cairo and London to Alexandria and Venice. Kaabi-Linke's body of work encompasses a myriad of media, from photographs to physical objects, as she delves into questions of place, culture, and history. She refers to her practice as an 'archaeology of the present,' a journey of uncovering and interpreting the layers of meaning embedded in contemporary society.


One of her notable works, 'Archives of the Tunis Banalities,' embodies this ethos. Created by capturing impressions of graffiti, love notes, insults, and abuse found on the walls of Tunis, Kaabi-Linke adds Indian ink to highlight the richness of these seemingly random messages. Similarly, her piece 'Flying Carpets' earned her the prestigious 2011 Abraaj Capital Art Prize, further solidifying her status as a visionary artist exploring the complexities of the modern world.


Souhayl Guesmi




Blending the timeless allure of romanticism and modernism with the rich tapestry of traditional Tunisian music, the composer and pianist captivates listeners with his unparalleled artistry. His album, "Faces," is a testament to his genius, offering a mesmerizing journey through a kaleidoscope of emotions and musical influences.


Chances are, you've already encountered his captivating compositions on Tunisian radios, as he has lent his production prowess to some of the nation's biggest rappers, including 4lfa and Jenjoon. His distinctive sound and innovative approach have solidified his reputation as a trailblazer in the Tunisian music scene.


Beyond his own releases, Guesmi is the driving force behind Tunis-based independent record label Bloc.C.Records. Serving as a nurturing home for young emerging artists, the label provides a platform for talent to flourish and thrive. Guesmi's dedication to fostering the next generation of musicians highlights his commitment to shaping the future of Tunisian music.


Bachire Tayachi



Bachire Tayachi is a photographer to keep an eye on. This talented young creative recently captured Basscoutur’s ‘Nouvelle Vie’ film and Fashion Trust Arabia’s 2021 regional campaign. He has also worked on campaigns for local brands such as Lyoum. His latest short film, Day Dreaming, delves into the concept of identity and stars the promising young model Mabrouka Fall.


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