March 1968 in Tunisia: 50 year after

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Despite their different motives and demands, the Student Movements of 1968 left deep influences in societies from diverse parts of the world where the events took place. As for Tunisia, the student movement started in March as a reaction to the arrest of the student Mohammed Ben Jannet and harshly sentencing him, which caused a series of protests that persisted in the following years under various forms.

In order to highlight this long neglected event under the regimes of Habib Bourguiba and Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali andon the occasion of the 50th anniversary of March 1968, the University of Tunis organized a seminar in partnership with the Academic Cooperation Office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and under the Open University Program.

During the seminar, Hedi Jellab shed the light on Tunisia’s general situation in the sixties and Abdeljelil Bouguerra focused on the circumstances and motives of the movement. Yet, Rachida Triki decided to discuss this historical event from a different perspective, through Michel Foucault’s transformational experience. The French philosopher was teaching in Tunisia at that time, and he showed a great solidarity with students, which resulted in expulsing him from the country.

To diversify the program of the seminar, the organizers screened a documentary that depicts the life of Mohammed Ben Jannet, along with two discussion sessions: in the first one a group of participants in the Movement of March 1968 related their experiences of the events, while the second session grouped different generations of militant students.

In the aim of spreading knowledge, the Academic Cooperation Office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation publishes on its website recorded videos of the interventions, along with selected papers in form of an electronic and printed book.