22 September 2021


Image by Sfax International

1. More than 50 cultural institutions in Sfax

Sfax is interested in the cultural question and takes great care of it, because public structures under the Ministry of Culture supervise intellectual and artistic activities. The cultural institutions are:

  • The cultural complex "Mohammed Al-Jamoussi"
  • The regional library
  • Model library for children
  • 24 public libraries
  • 2 mobile libraries
  • Center for Dramatic and Performing Arts
  • Regional Institute of Music
  • 2 open-air theaters
  • 3 archaeological museums
  • Fine Arts Gallery
  • 12 cultural houses
  • Salon de Sfax pour les Arts, which opens its doors to all artists from Sfax and all regions of Tunisia.
  • 2 dramatic and performing arts centers, one located in the city center and the other in the Kerkennah delegation
  • Public Conservatory of Music and Dance.
  • The Malouf academy1.

2. More than 80 cultural associations

In Sfax, there are more than 80 cultural associations, which are divided according to their specialties2 in:

  • 21 theater societies
  • 15 musical societies
  • 14 heritage societies
  • 8 Cinematographic associations
  • 25 societies in various specialties.3.

Cultural projects have been launched within the framework of an effective partnership with actors from different cultural associations. The projects include all cultural and artistic sectors and fields, the carriers of private initiatives and the carriers of particular cultural projects. These projects are mainly based on the cultural policy and the adopted work strategy which based on the principle of democracy and the activation of cultural decentralization and the culture of proximity by allowing each party to present cultural programs that reflect its specificities and highlight cultural particularities and creative energies.

3. More than 20 festivals per year

According to the summer 2019 statistics, 194 summer festivals were organized, including three in Sfax center:4 festivals d'été ont été organisés dont trois à Sfax centre5 :

1. International Festival of Sfax

2. Tanyour Festival in Chihiya

3. International “Gremda” Festival of Arts and Cultures

The rest of the festivals are distributed among the delegations, such as:

  • Mahres Festival of Culture and Heritage
  • International Fine Arts Festival of Mahres
  • Sidi Mohadeb Festival in Skhira
  • Bir Ali Ben Khalifa Festival
  • Apple festival in El Ghrayba
  • Horse riding festival in Agreb

The cultural events continue throughout the year. The region of Sfax organized in winter 2019 an international festival under the title "Festival de violin arabe à Sakiet Al-Daer" in its tenth session, in addition to the "Al-Zaytouna" and "Al-" festivals.

In the framework of its celebration of cultures, Sfax has maintained important milestones in favor of creativity and creators and the establishment of cultural traditions that honor the creator and celebrate his creativity by mixing various arts such as theater, music, plastic arts, cinema, intellectual meetings, literary events and specialized festivals such as:

  • Sfax annual art Salon
  • Annual authors' celebration
  • Sfax Children's Book Fair
  • Sfax International Festival
  • City festival
  • The regional theater festival in youth and culture spaces
  • Spring comic book festival

In addition to this, the organization of distinguished musical events in relation to civil society structures and certain partner institutions, such as:

  • Istikhbar Music Festival
  • Arab Student Song Festival
  • Violin Festival at Sakkiet Eddayer
  • October Music Festival

4. Annual cultural events

Various events are organized throughout the year on fixed dates:

  • January and February: Al-Hajouja Festival and the Jamoussi Festival of Mediterranean Music
  • March: Sfax Children's Book Fair
  • April: The annual authors' celebration ceremony, and the national reading and information days.
  • April and May: The national competition for the creativity of children and young people is organized throughout the months of April and May. Also, the national theater festival is organized in the houses of culture and young people during these two months. In the same period, the Arab reading festival, the heritage month from April 18 to May 18, and the Tunisian theater week will open.
  • July and August: Summer festivals are organized throughout the months of July and August
  • October: Sfax celebrates the Musical Days of Carthage
  • November: Carthage Film Festival
  • December: Carthage theater days
  • These celebrations end with the Zaytuna Festival, which extends over the months of December and January, to close the period of the celebrations.

5. International, regional and national cultural events

During the last decade, the city of Sfax has organized notable cultural events, the most famous of which are:

  • Creators ... For life

    Within the framework of the event “Creators… For Life”, the regional commissariat for Culture of Sfax has prepared a number of events and sub-activities in its affiliated delegations. The distribution of activities to the various delegations in the region aims to open up to working-class neighborhoods which lack cultural spaces and to create a core of cultural work in the internal delegations. This event relied mainly on the transfer of a range of cultural activities from closed institutions to open spaces to meet the recipient directly wherever they are. It looked more like a carnival. The activities of this event started from the delegation of Shkira with the opening of the Village of Creativity and the Arts, which consists of photography, animation, puppetry, dramatic games, theater and of plastic arts workshops. Beside all this, a heritage tent, which contained an exhibition on the arts, traditional crafts specific to the region, as well as refresher shows provided by the drums of Kharkenah and Al-Hadhra of Sfax.

  • The neighborhood of Al-Bahri in the center of the city of Sfax represented a stage to celebrate this event, where a heritage tent and documentary exhibitions were produced. The regional commissariat of culture of Sfax participated in the activities of this event, where there was a setting up of a reading village, giant book workshops, the giant open magazine and free reading activities through the bookmobile. In addition to the celebration of the book, the pioneers of this event had an appointment with the art of puppetry and cartoons. 3D cinema shows, as well as storytelling and music shows.


    Within the framework of the Carthage Special Film Days, nearly 20 cinema shows will be screened in the Mohamed Al-Jamoussi cultural complex, targeting all age groups.6.

  • Sfax Capital of Arab Culture

    The organizers of the event "Sfax Capital of Arab Culture" underlined the interest of the region of Sfax for Arab and international cultural issues, as many international intellectual seminars were organized, such as:

    • "Conference of culture and heritage" in the Arab media discourse
    • Intellectual Conference on Creativity and Contemporaneity
    • An international scientific colloquium on "The elements of the renewal of the Arab theater between the challenges of the present and the challenges of the future"
    • A conference on "Arab-Turkish relations: a historical review"
    • Round table on "Digital cultural memory",
    • A national forum entitled "The need for a law on refuge in Tunisia".

    Sfax has also experienced the exhibition of other fairs such as:

    • Fair "Peace"
    • The House of the Image
    • Tunisia with Palestinian eyes and Palestine with Tunisian eyes
    • Fair of Sfax and the press: "Memory and history"
    • International Ceramics Fair

    Several other shows were presented within the framework of this event, such as:

    • The festival of Poetry or the Four Seasons of Poetry
    • Song festival
    • Folk arts festival
    • UGTT Festival for Creativity in its fourth session
    • The activities of the House of History
    • Sfax Cinema Days
    • Kulthum Burnaz session
    • The Arab Caricature Festival
    • The Arab Street Arts Colloquium
    • The International Forum on the Postage Stamp
    • The Symposium of Arab Women and Terrorism
    • The forum of young European Arabs
  • Cultural weeks and days

    Of which we can mention for example:

    • The Chinese cultural week
    • The Algerian cultural week
    • The Egyptian cultural week
    • The Iraqi cultural week
    • The German cultural week
    • The Mauritanian cultural week,
    • The Yemeni cultural week
    • The Kuwaiti cultural week.
  • Cultural Circuit

    The cultural Circuit aim to highlight the tangible and intangible heritage of the region of Sfax. Sfax was represented in the organization of convoys of media professionals and photographers, during which they visited many monuments, archaeological sites and cultural attractions of Sfax. The cultural circuit included four tracks taken by professional photographers and amateurs, as well as numerous media:

    • The circuit from Bararos to Wadi Al-Raqqa of the delegation of Hanshah, Batria Akoula and the shrine of Abi Ishaq Al-Jebianani of the delegation of Jabaniana.
    • The Kerkennah Archipelago circuit, which included the Siege Tower, Mellitah Lighthouse and the Old Port of Kerkennah.
    • The Yonga circuit in the Mahres delegation, Kneyess in the El Ghriba delegation and Tyna in the Tyna delegation.
    • Cheikh Tijani's circuit in the old town of Sfax

6. Partnerships with civil society

Cultural institutions establish important partnerships with other institutions, such as the education commissions Sfax 1 and Sfax 2, the University of Sfax, the prison of Sfax, and other public institutions.

The various structures of civil society concerned with cultural work play an important role in the revitalization of cultural life in the region of Sfax. Important partnerships have been established between these public institutions and the social institutions of Sfax.

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