chapter  5
17 Pages

The construction and structure of Tunisian scenes

WithStefano Barone

Chapter Five offers a comparative discussion of sceneness among Tunisian metal, rap, and electro. Its prelude is a section that engages with the relationship between music scenes and the State in Tunisia. The section shows how the Tunisian State influences the scenes’ existence, both by its “absence” (for example, by not adequately enforcing author’s rights) and by its intrusiveness (that is, through censorship, clientelism, strangling bureaucracy and the like). By using Hamza Meddeb’s concept of the “bread run”, the chapter shows how in Meddeb’s vein, how State repression is co-constructed from below, with scene actors working to facilitate power asymmetry and State domination. The second section brings forward a discussion on how the three music scenes fashion forms of community that act as symbolic commodities. These ideas of community are, at the same time, seeds of conflict, in that scenesters disagree upon their meanings and connotation, thus sporting different ideas of how their music scene should be. For this reason, different forms of sceneness, and different takes on scene fragility, appear across metal, rap, and electro.