Tandem Project

Tunis Encounters: Migration in Aesthetics and Literature

This interdisciplinary tandem project on translocal/transcultural migration and mixing of aesthetic and literary forms involves a series of publications on the intersection of literature, art, and academic research in the fields of comparative literature, art history, musicology, Middle Eastern studies, and translation studies. The publications will document the collaboration between authors, artists, and researchers from the MENA region and Europe, who will join forces virtually via diverse forms of online meetings due to the COVID-19 mobility limitations. A workshop and get-together is planned in Tunis (Tunisia) end of 2020 or in 2021. All participating artists, authors, and graphic designers have been selected by the AGYA members and project partners Stefan Maneval (Arabic and Islamic Studies) and Anis Ben Amor (literature) on the premises that their work reflects such movements and encounters. Some of the authors are currently living in exile or in places different from where they were born and raised. Others, including many of the visual artists, deal with encounters of differences within their own societal context or they explore and expand the boundaries of aesthetic and literary traditions, integrating a broad variety of languages as well as narratives and motifs of different origins in their work. Furthermore, the designers are pioneers in integrating different languages, scripts and aesthetic traditions in their graphic design, thus crossing and expanding the boundaries of aesthetic traditions. Therefore, the project is experimental and innovative in its character as it initiates such encounters and mixing between aesthetic forms and traditions, while also reflecting upon the consequences of artists’ and authors’ travelling or migrating. Six groups consisting of one author, one artist, and one graphic designer will be formed and start working on illustrated bilingual publications (German and Arabic), with an Arab artist illustrating the text of an author from Europe or vice versa. The project results will be used to produce a complete series of seven booklets over a period of two years: six bilingual illustrated booklets and one collection of essays by the participating researchers.

Members in Charge

Anis Ben Amor

University of Tunis El Manar, Higher Institute of Humanities, Department of Applied Languages

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Stefan Maneval

Arabic & Islamic Studies
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies

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DATE and Venue of the project

7 May – 31 December 2020
Online Meetings

Funding Scheme

Tandem Project

Countries Involved

Germany, Tunisia, Lebanon, Sweden, Italy

Disciplines Involved

Interdisciplinary Research Project


Photo by AGYA/Stefan Maneval

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