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Mid-East Junction

How a group of artists based in Egypt tried to change society

Audio 09:54
Wall paintings throughout the village of Tunis, Egypt
Wall paintings throughout the village of Tunis, Egypt Rfi / Pedro Costa Gomes

Can art change society? It's not clear whether it can or not, but a group of artists in Egypt believed it could and set off to create such a vision hidden in the oasis governorate of Fayoum, just south of Cairo. Rfi's Anne-Marie Bissada has this report from the village of Tunis in the Fayoum.

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View of Tunis looking out to Lake Qarun
View of Tunis looking out to Lake Qarun Rfi / Anne-Marie Bissada

Just a two hour’s drive south of Cairo, away from the Nile, one comes across the governorate of Fayoum, an oasis in the middle of the desert.

As Egypt modernized, Fayoum lagged behind and remained one of the poorer agricultural regions in the country. Even today, farmers tend to their fields using traditional, outdated, means and the pace of life remains slow.

It’s also here where you’ll find the small village of Tunis –of a  population of under 1000 -- nestled among the green landscape at a slight incline looking out to the lake.

The village itself began to grow after a group of like-minded artists came to establish a kind of utopia away from the chaos of Cairo.

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