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Tunisian female DJs seek to establish themselves in a male environment


Olfa Arfaoui founded in 2018 the first DJ Academy for Girls in the Arab world “to give women a chance”.

Fouchika Junior slides a command and increases a frequency.

She introduces a handful of future DJs to the basics of mixing in Tunisia, where new groups have emerged so that women can assert themselves in the very masculine world of musical entertainment.

That day, at the French Institute in Tunis, Nada Benmadi, 25, touches the turntables for the first time.

This aspiring sound engineer wants to add the profession of DJ to her palette, both because she “

loves sound and music

” and also to “

bring together fans of electronic music, dance and spread positive energy


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Nada, who wants to open her own production studio one day, is aware that “

being a female DJ in Tunisia scares most families. Because you're going to come home at night and it's more of a masculine thing

”. For her, no problem, however, her family is made up of "

open people who encourage me to do what I love

". “

One, two, three, four

”. Her teacher of the day, Yasmina Gaida, alias Fouchika Junior, 29, specializes in "

deep house

" and "


". She beats time and shows how to manually sync songs. This assistant camera in the cinema benefited five years ago from a three-day internship and, for the rest, was trained on the job.She teaches DJing "

to give a chance to women

”who“ do

not have the possibility nor the means

”to learn it and to convey the idea that“

it is possible for a woman to be a DJ in Tunisia


DJing is not considered “safe” for a Tunisian.

It is seen as a profession dominated by men, very difficult, which takes place at night in an environment which can be toxic, violent for women.

Olfa Arfaoui

Fouchika has seen "

some changes

" in recent years, but they are "

not obvious

". “

Nightclub owners, it's like they're scared to hire a DJ for a night out, in case that doesn't work, because it's still a technical thing

” and they think “

it doesn't. is not for girls

”. It is also complicated for women to break through, according to her. “

When a man introduces himself, we say to him: go ahead, send me your SoundCloud and he can come and mix. When it's a girl, we ask her: have you ever mixed before? Never heard of you!


Coming from an artistic background with a makeup artist mother, Fouchika has a family that accepts her passion.

But sometimes she has to go "

talk to the families to tell them: 'everything is fine, we are not doing anything wrong, just music'


DJing is not considered“ safe ”for a Tunisian.

It is seen as a profession dominated by men, very difficult, which takes place at night in an environment that can be toxic, violent for women,

”Olfa Arfaoui, founder in 2018, confirms to AFP. presented as the first DJ Academy for Girls in the Arab world.

A social role

In three years, the Academy, supported by international foundations, has trained around 100 female DJs. “

Women are starting to integrate the clubbing space, more aware of their presence. Even if there is also sometimes a little opportunism in using their image,

”she notes. The DJ Academy for Girls, which offers its workshops on weekends for an affordable price (80 to 90 euros for a 36-hour module over three months), also wants to be a "

second chance school to provide a second job, a complement of salary or a possibility of retraining

”, according to Olfa Arfaoui. His school offers additional training in sound engineers, “

sound designer

”, “

live coding”.

- to create sounds via computer coding - as well as musical arrangement or even music production. The academy also intends to play a social role, by intervening in universities or schools in order to use DJing, which "

frees the floor and puts you at ease

", "

to give young girls confidence and discuss sensitive subjects such as menstruation or intercourse


Roua Bida, trained at the DJ Academy about a year ago, shares this militant state of mind "

against these people who are afraid for their masculinity, that they will be robbed of places and space


When she mixes, this 33-year-old rapper "

tries to introduce 'feminist' pieces of music


With Fouchika and others, they will be setting up

a collective of female DJs


very soon


If we each fight in our own corner, we will always have the same problems.

Whereas if we are united, we will impose ourselves and claim our rights, and people will give us our chance


Source: lefigaro

All life articles on 2021-12-04

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