Houses of Culture: Culture without Intellectuals, or Quasi-intellectuals without Culture?

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The queue was long. People of all ages showed up to watch the one-man show.

A friend from elsewhere: Wow, people in here are really interested in cultural activities. Two days on the row and they’re lining up to watch plays and movies.

Me: Yeah, I guess.

We chose a place and we sat. Two middle-aged women started to eat sunflower seeds and throw the peels on the floor, sometimes on our backs.

Salted sunflower seeds are like the popcorn of Tunisians.

Other people around us started to do the same thing. Two teenagers, members of the organizing committee, started to walk around and ask the audience to not throw the sunflower seed peels on the floor. With a fake smile, “Okay”, they say.

The lights went off. The performer was on the stage. Everybody had a good laugh. Everybody seemed to enjoy the show.

The show ended. The lights were turned on again to find ourselves (my friend and I) under the shock of what we saw. Sunflower seed peels were everywhere on the floor.

The only thing we kept talking about for the next two days was the fact that those people were entering the House of Culture to leave their litter on the floor of a public place.

The question to be asked, is this culture without intellectuals? Or is it quasi-intellectuals without culture?


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