The radical spirit accompanying decolonization movements in the 1950s and 1960s epitomized by the Algerian War of Independence extended well beyond politics to foster an array of conversations about social and cultural change. Moroccan writers, Palestinian poets, and Iraqi artists embraced the potential of public intellectuals to contribute to these transformations. Whether publishing journals, performing at festivals, or creating monuments, they challenged colonial racial hierarchies and insisted upon the centrality of culture to decolonial projects. Political elites sympathetic to these arguments celebrated the transnational power of Black, Arab, and African art and culture at festivals in Dakar in 1966 and Algiers in 1969.

It was in this spirit that Tunisia began hosting the Carthage Film Festival in 1966, though pan-African and pan-Arab radicalism were tempered by the Westward outlook of the Tunisian regime (which gestured towards its Mediterranean location as an argument for European belonging symbolized by Carthage). As the...

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