Index / News / Casa Árabe contributes to the activities held in conjunction with the exhibition “Tunisia in Sepia”

Casa Árabe contributes to the activities held in conjunction with the exhibition “Tunisia in Sepia”

On the occasion of this exhibition at Spain’s National Archeological Museum, we will be hosting an exceptional collection of photographs taken in Tunisia throughout the nineteenth century, an introductory workshop to Arabic calligraphy and a session of oral storytelling with Tunisian tales. You can sign up to take part as of Saturday, November 18.

October 10, 2023
The workshop for beginners in Arabic calligraphy and writing with calligraphic pen and ink will be taking place on Saturday, November 25 at 11:30 a.m. and will be taught by calligrapher Sadeq Ale Isaac. It will begin with a preliminary introduction to al-khaṭṭ-al-arabi (Arabic writing), then introducing the tools and proper way of writing by learning how to trace easier letters (Alif, Ba, Sa, Ra... ) with the calligraphic pen. Lasting two hours in all, it was designed for an audience of 16 years in age and older, and the maximum capacity is 20 participants. In order to attend, you must sign up in advance as of Saturday, November 18 by following this link.

The oral storytelling session of Tunisian tales will be held on Friday, December 1, at 6:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Assembly Hall. The Tunisian tales collected with painstaking care by Mohammed Abdelkefi are a treasure of oral storytelling. Compared to their counterparts in The Thousand and One Nights, they come from a different vantage point. Some are quite recognizable, though a few of these versions are even better written. In this round of stories celebrated in conjunction with the exhibition Tunisia in Sepia, those attending will get the chance to savor the words of fabled Tunisian storytellers through the performance by Héctor Urién, one of our finest oral storytellers. The stories were thought up for an audience of people over the age of 12, and you must pick up your tickets at the box office as of one hour prior to the beginning of the show in order to attend. Further information

About the exhibition
Between 1892 and 1893, Madrid hosted a variety of events to celebrate the fourth centennial of the discovery of America and the figure of Christopher Columbus. Two of them were the European History Exhibition and the Natural History and Ethnography Exhibition held at the Palace of the National Library and Museums, home of the National Archaeological Museum. Various countries and individuals participated in both, with the aim of showing the condition of European and American cultures at the time of Christopher Columbus’s arrival.

One of the halls dedicated to France contained objects from the mother country and its protectorates, including twenty large picture frames with nearly five hundred albumen prints sent from Tunisia which illustrated its history and monuments in great spatial and cultural detail.

After the exhibitions closed in 1893, the Bey of Tunis, Ali III ibn al-Husayn, gave the displayed photographs to Spain, and once the public donation had been formally accepted in 1896, they entered the collection of the National Archaeological Museum.

These images are remarkable for both their artistic quality and their documentary value to experts in fields such as archaeology, ethnography, restoration and art history, illustrating places and monuments that have changed over the years. A photograph is a visual source of information that portrays a vanished moment, captures the reality of an instant and preserves it for all eternity—a reality which, like Heraclitus’s river, will never be the same again. Today, one hundred and thirty years later, this exhibition presents a selection of those photographs, faithfully reproduced to show us spectacular “atmospheres” which, like the albumen process itself, have faded and disappeared over time.

Organisation: Ministry of Culture and Sports. National Archaeological Museum
Contributors: ASISA. Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME). Friends of the National Archaeological Museum (AMAN)
Curation: Virginia Salve Quejido, María Alonso Lescún, Núria Benavent Bataller, Ana Cabrera Díez
Casa Árabe contributes to the activities held in conjunction with the exhibition “Tunisia in Sepia”
Exhibition poster.