AN ANALYSIS OF THE CULTURAL-CREATIVE ECONOMY IN THE MEDINA OF TUNIS

By:  Yasmeen Safaie

This research aims to provide an overview of the cultural-creative industries (CCI) in the Medina of
Tunis and to understand pathways for socioeconomic development in the historic quarters. While the
cultural heritage efforts, the history of craft and folk-art, and the function of souks in the Medina have
been documented by scholars, little scholarly work has been carried out to analyse the link between
socioeconomic development and the CCI in the city, despite the efforts of local civil society
organisations. This work aims to provide an analysis of local socioeconomic challenges with a focus
on labour and gender, to understand the relationship between the cultural-creative economy and the
socioeconomic dynamics in the Medina, through a mixed-methods approach. Further, this research
aims to add to the knowledge on economic development and creative industry development in a
heritage context and specifically in countries in the Middle East and North Africa. While the majority
of creative economy discourse is focused on the global North, this research aims to explore potential
pathways for a heritage-led creative economy approach to economic activation through a comparative
case study of other craft and folk-art heritage cities in the MENA region to inform pathways for
change in the Medina. Finally, the notion of value is integral to bridging the gap between cultural
heritage and economics. This research aims to map out the forms of value the cultural-creative
economy can generate multiple and cross-disciplinary forms of value to contribute towards the work
in measuring value in the Medina.