A Child's Gaze

January 14th, 2011. Saïf, 12, goes with his* mother to the Avenue. Until the following morning, he would experience things that would mark him for life. Saïf's account of January 14th adds new insight from a child’s perspective. With a great deal of self-distance, ease and tenderness, Saïf recounts his strained yet tender relationship with a mother who ultimately taught him the true meaning of the word "freedom".
14 November 2020
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Created by
Inkyfada Podcast
Bochra Triki
Editorial support
Monia Ben Hamadi
Hazar Abidi
Editing, Sound Design & Mixing
Oussema Gaidi
Voice over
Bochra Triki
Mohamed Dhaouadi, Yasmine Perkins
Marwen Ben Mustapha

On January 14, 2011, Saïf, 12 years old, was happy when hearing that his classes were suspended, thinking he would enjoy a walk in the park with his mother instead. Despite his wishes, he found himself on Habib Bourguiba Avenue, in the middle of an overwhelming crowd that was chanting slogans he was not yet fully able to understand. 

In this podcast, he recalls the day of January 14 through the eyes of a little boy* who doesn't really understand what is happening around him. Police violence, baton beatings, heated debates, and the image of his mother slapping a policeman - Saif recalls the events that would come to shape his activist career and queer, feminist thinking. 

He revisits, among other things, the feeling of being torn between a left-wing feminist mother, a grandmother close to the ruling political system, and his own desires as a young child.

As he was taking refuge with his mother in a hotel room in downtown Tunis, he found himself rejoicing at the evening announcement of Ben Ali's departure, because it would bring an end to the family conflicts.

*As a child, Saïf identified as masculine - today as non-binary.

Where were you on January 14th ?

Throughout the year leading up to the tenth anniversary of the revolution, Inkyfada looks back on the events of January 14, 2011 in Tunis. Through the personal accounts of individuals on the ground, an alternative documentation of contemporary history is formed: one that is based on several different perspectives.

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Inkyfada Podcast is the first platform entirely dedicated to original Tunisian podcasts, and was conceived by Inkyfada media in collaboration with the in-house research and development laboratory, InkyLab.
Inkyfada joined the global podcast boom in 2017, when the team produced the first Tunisian audio documentary, diving deep into the belly of the El Kamour struggle taking place in the desert.
Since then, Inkyfada Podcast has produced a wide variety of documentaries, investigations, and podcast series, as well as articles accompanied by music; covering a multitude of contemporary issues in order to offer an immersive and alternative podcast experience.
Whilst exclusively offering audio content, the Inkyfada Podcast team upholds the same core values and principles of inkyfada.com, and is committed to producing high quality content though a dynamic and meticulous production process.
In addition to the permanent team, Inkyfada podcast works closely with various journalists, artists, illustrators, musicians and other content creators in order to diversify the platform and support artistic creativity.
These podcasts differ from traditional radiophonic content in that the applied production and editing process is more akin to cinematographic techniques, in addition to being web-based, downloadable and accessible on demand.
Additionally, Inkyfada Podcast uniquely offers subtitles in French, Arabic and English for all audio content, the majority of which is recorded in Tunisian or in the preferred language of the speaker in question.

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