December 8th, 2019 Kayraouani Millennium
Press release 8/12/2019
Blue Fish, a firm specialized in improving the socio-economic dynamic of heritage, organizes the ‘Kayraouani Millennium’ celebration at Dar Ben Gacem Kahia on the 8th of December 2019. The Kayraouani is an Arabic calligraphic script that appeared in Kairouan around 1019-1020 thanks to the ‘Quran of the Nurse’ a manuscript of about 2900 pages, that was donated to the mosque of Kairouan by the Nurse of a Zirid prince of the time.
In an effort to revive and preserve this font, the Tunisian Association of Calligraphic Arts invited Mr. Ameur Ben Jedou, a master calligrapher from Sidi Bouzid, to deliver a series of workshops to Kayraouani apprentice calligraphers. Those workshops were sponsored by Dar Ben Gacem. This year, Blue Fish and the Tunisian Association of Calligraphers, have worked on an important project funded by Ashoka’s Fabric of Change Program, supported by C&A Foundation. The project included:
- The documentation, graphical design and digitalization of the script to enable its use as a computer font
- Apparel design featuring the Kayraouani script
- Advocating the Kayraouani script as an integral part of Tunisian immaterial heritage, and encouraging young designers to use it in their developments and products.
The ‘Kayraouani Millennium’ event will include a panel discussion around the script’s origins and history; a contest of infographics using the Kayraouani font; calligraphy workshops run by master calligraphers; and apparel sales. All incomes will be used to further advance the preservation and documentation of Tunisia’s calligraphic heritage. The event will be held at Dar Ben Gacem Kahia, a recently inaugurated guesthouse in the Medina of Tunis in which Kayraouani Calligraphy was used as a decorative theme, in the carved stucco of the opulent dining room’s dome, and in the paintings decorating the rooms.
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