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May 13, 2019

ConferenceInternational Museum Day 2019 reads | “How Contemporary Can Traditions Be?”

For International Museum Day 2019, we have selected for you a series of articles published in Museum International in connection with the theme “the future of tradition”.

Hamzaoui, S. 2015. ‘How Contemporary Can Traditions Be? A Case Study of the Kesra Village Museum, Tunisia’, Museum International, Vol. 67, No. 265-268, pp. 138-144. Tunisia

Although Kesra is one of the top five archaeological Berber villages in Tunisia – the likely cradle of Numidian, Punic, Roman and Byzantine civilizations, it is, to date, the object of only minor scholarly interest. The Byzantine fortress and current houses show the continual occupation of the site throughout time. The people of Kesra are traditional, and very much attached to ancestral values. Their heritage is deep-rooted and bears witness to their beliefs, customs and traditions. This article explores the tensions between contemporaneity and tradition through an overview of the Kesra museum project. The main problem at hand was to decide on the nature and purpose of this small-village museum, by contrasting wealth with poverty and tradition with modernity. The realisation of that dichotomy aimed to educate visitors on the villagers’ contrasting experiences by presenting a narrative made of oppositions, which are illustrated in the museum’s architectural design and its scientific, museographical and scenographical programmes.

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