Tunisia/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists  

8.1.4 Support to professional artists associations or unions

As Tunisia inherited the political experience of socialism, adopted by the State during the 1960s, it has strong traditions in trade unions and workers syndicates. It resulted in the presence of unions or trade unions in mostly every sector, including the cultural sector, for professional artists and creators. The syndicates and professional associations for artists (or creators) defend the material and moral rights of its members in each area of specialization (visual arts, cinema, theater, music and dance ...).  Like other civil society organizations, unions endured pressure and tension to become an extension of the ruling system that existed before 2011. In fact, this would explain the multiplicity of the electoral assemblies that took place in these organizations after 2011, and the emergence of new unions that split apart from major organization.

The normal relationship between these organizations and the ruling government was maintained in terms of continuous pressure and tension. They participate in negotiations, debates, and decisions relevant to the areas of intervention of the ministry of culture.

The State has no special financial support for the management of these organizations and their financial resources come from membership fees and organization of income-generating investments. The following list represents an indicative list of unions and professional associations in culture sector:

-  General Union for Media and Culture: it consists of 4 sub-unions (the Dramatic Professions Syndicate- Musicians Syndicate- Visual Artists Syndicate –Writers of Tunisia Syndicate) (within the General Union of Tunisian Workers - UGTT)

-  Union of Visual Artists (independent)

-  Tunisian Writers Union (independent)

-  Society of Tunisian Cinematographers (independent)

Chapter published: 05-05-2015