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Waging War Under the Ramparts: Ali Douagi's Satire and Song
The paper will examine the short stories, cartoons, and musical lyrics of Ali Douagi (1909-1949), one of the most prominent members of Taht Essour, the bohemian group of inter-war thinkers and artists that included Abu al-Qasim Chebbi , Hédi La'abidi, and Tahar Haddad among others, all of whom met "under the ramparts" in a café located at Bab Souika, against the walled fortifications of the Tunis medina. Experimenters of cultural forms, especially in derija (dialect), these satirical humorists poked fun at colonial authorities and their own society at a moment both when war abroad, military occupation and campaigns to save Europe via the North African underbelly of the Mediterranean brought the war home, jolting the social order. Douagi's writings caricatured the customs and quirks of the Tunisian society of his time. The paper will examine Douagi's short story collection, cartoons, and lyrics against the backdrop of colonial policy and contemporary history of the inter war period.
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