Mana Chuma Travels to Tunis

A new adventure for Mana Chuma Teatro. On Tuesday 14 November at 1.00pm, poets Massimo Barilla and Elizabeth Grech will be in Tunis, invited by writer, journalist and producer of cultural programmes Emna Louzir, live on Autour de Midi, a daily programme broadcast on RTCI Radio. Every Tuesday, Emna Louzyr interviews men and women of culture to find out more about their careers and their work. She has been editor-in-chief of several magazines, and a presenter and producer on national television. She has published several collections of poems and won the Zoubeida Bchir national poetry award.

On Wednesday 15 November at 7pm, at Beit el Bennani, Massimo Barilla and Elizabeth Grech will be presenting a new project: Parole come onde / Words Like Waves / كَلِماتٌ أَمْوَاج , a multilingual event – in Calabrian dialect, Italian, French, English, Maltese and Arabic – in collaboration with Sabrine Ghannoudi, actress (cinema and theatre) and poet, founder of “Notre Dame des Mots”, a meeting between women writers that takes place once a month in various cultural venues.

Words Like Waves is a journey through the languages of the Mediterranean. Words come and go, are transformed, grafted, intertwined, integrated and tell the story of a common heritage that only poetry can fully enhance. The aim of this project is to embark on a literary journey to create a space for poetic contamination in new territories, welcoming poets of different languages at each stopover.

Beit el Bennani, the venue for this first stage, is a Tunisian heritage documentation centre founded and run by Mohamed Bennani. It is a magical place near the Medina in Tunis, which hosts and organises a variety of cultural events. Every week, Tunisian and foreign intellectuals gather there for a traditional couscous, sharing a convivial moment to exchange ideas, opinions, points of view and projects.

15 November at 7pm
Beit el Bennani, 11 bis Boulevard Bab Mnara
1008 Tunis, Tunisia

Further information



 Massimo Barilla (Reggio Calabria) Playwright, poet, theatre director and producer. Director of Mana Chuma Teatro (Premio della Critica ANCT 2019), in the framework of which he has written and directed several plays. He published Ossa di crita (Mesogea, 2020), poetry collection in the dialect of Reggio Calabria; the short story “Tre ombre piccole davanti al mare” in Dentro più dentro dove il mare è mare (Historica, 2021); long excerpts from two of his plays in 1990-2020. Le théatre italien en résistance (Les Éditions théâtrales, Paris, 2020). As a poet and writer, he represented Italy at the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival 2018.

Massimo Barilla
Photo by Marco Costantino

As a translator, Elizabeth Grech (Malta, Paris) works with various cultural and artistic organisations. She is in charge of translation, communications and international relations with Mana Chuma Teatro. She writes poetry in Maltese. Her first poetry collection bejn baħar u baħar was published by Merlin Publishers (Malta, 2019) and was then translated into Italian by Massimo Barilla and Virgina Monteforte – Terre sospese for Capire edizioni. This was followed by translations into Greek (Μετέωρες χώρες, Ionna Karameli), Spanish (Tierras suspendidas, Marisol Bohorquez-Godoy), Arabic (ين-بحر-وبحر Maria Pakkala) and English (Between Seas, Irene Mangion).

Elizabeth Grech
Photo by Katel Delia for Inizjamed

Sabrine Ghannoudi (Tunis) is the founder of Notre Dame des Mots (a monthly meeting of women writers). In 2019, she trained in dramatic arts at El Teatro. Since then, she has acted in several plays. After taking her first steps into the world of cinema in 2014, with a lead role in director Nacer Khemir’s feature film Par où commencer? which won several awards, she has acted in several other films, some of which have won awards at international festivals. In February 2023, she directed her very first performance, Tribu, produced by Notre Dame des Mots and El Teatro. Somewhere between theatre, dance and poetry, with 10 young women on stage, this multilingual show evokes the female condition in all its plurality.