Tunisia Economy and Arts

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Economic conditions

After the achievement of independence (1956), Tunisia undertook an economic policy inspired by the principles of socialism, proceeding with expropriations and nationalizations and preparing planning tools, above all to improve the precarious conditions of the South. agricultural areas through irrigation works, industrialization based on local resources, in particular phosphates, and, later, on the development of tourism. However, a balance of payments crisis that occurred during 1986 forced the authorities to move towards economic liberalization programs that were supported by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The government, after successfully carrying out some reforms in the mid-1990s, has managed to stabilize the economy by turning to an export-oriented production model, attracting foreign investments with low labor costs and with incentives such as preferential access to European markets. The annual change in GDP marked an increase of 4.6% in 2008. ● The composition of the gross domestic product by sector of economic activity (2009) saw the services sector in first place (54.1%), followed by industry (35%) and agriculture (10.9%). The primary sector is characterized by the production of cereals (wheat and barley), olive growing (T. is among the world’s leading oil producers) and viticulture. Of great importance are fruit crops (citrus fruits, almond trees, dates), breeding (mainly sheep) and the fishing sector (mainly tuna and sardines). The subsoil of the Tunisia it contains important mineral resources: primarily hydrocarbons (natural gas and oil). Another important resource are phosphates, of which Tunisia is one of the main world producers. Industrial activities include steel, metallurgical and mechanical plants, chemical plants, cement plants, as well as food plants (oil mills, sugar refineries), textiles and so on. Many manufacturing industries are concentrated in the special economic zones of Biserta and Zarzis, where they can benefit from tax breaks reserved for foreign investors. Tourism offers the largest contribution to the service sector and directly or indirectly employs about 300,000 local workers. ● Exports mainly concern hydrocarbons, agricultural products, phosphates, textiles, electrical components and parts of the mechanical industry. The largest flow (76.3%) goes to Europe and, in particular, to France and Italy, which absorb over 40% of total exports and from which 44% of imports come (hydrocarbons, textiles, machinery and plants, chemicals and food). Foreign investments come mainly from the United Arab Emirates (over 20 billion dollars in 2007 and 2008) and from the European Union (1.9 billion dollars in 2008). For Tunisia 2011, please check internetsailors.com.

Arts and architecture

At the center of the historical and cultural intertwining of the Mediterranean area, the territory of the modern Tunisia has been marked by the 19th century. from European influences mediated by the French presence, grafted onto a cultural tradition based on Berber, Roman and Byzantine, Ottoman, Arab and Spanish elements. Arab and European styles alternate in the public and residential buildings of the neighborhoods that arose in Tunis from the second half of the 19th century. outside the medina ; traditions, eclecticisms and citations characterize various buildings in the area (G. Sebastian’s villa in Hammamet, 1939-40, later a cultural center, with a Greek-style open-air theater, 1964). Traditional underground Berber houses (Matmata) and vaulted vernacular buildings (Gerba) remained in use, but from the last decades of the 20th century. references to modern Western architecture are established (skyscrapers in the city center), alongside a decorative use of neo-Moorish solutions (Résidence Andalous near Sousse, by S. Santelli, 1980; Dar el-Mannaii complex in La Soukra, by Tunisia ben Miled) . At the same time, strong attention was paid by local authorities and UNESCO to the conservation of pre-existing Islamic areas (Medina of Tunis, Mahdia, Qairouan, Sfax, Sousse; center of Sidi Bou Said). ● In the arts, the impact with Western art was resolved in the assertion of the cultural legitimacy of colonial power: almost exclusively French colonial artists, exponents of an academic and provincial art, participated in the Tunis Salon from 1894. ‘TO. al-Wahhāb Ǧilānī, the first Tunisian Muslim artist who exhibited at the 1912 Salon, who moved to Paris in 1921 continued his activity in contact with A. Modigliani, P. Picasso, C. Soutine etc. In the group of the School of Tunis (1949), alongside the pioneers of modern Tunisian art Y. al-Turkī and ‛A. Farḥāt, artists such as ‛A. Ballāġa, Ṣ. Farḥāt, al-Hādī al-Turkī, Ḥ. Ṣūfī, who develop an independent language by rediscovering the two-dimensionality of Islamic miniatures, the tradition of glass painting, Arabic calligraphy, an important element in N. al-Mahdāwī’s research. Remarkable G. Trikī, in the field of engraving.

Tunisia Arts and architecture

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