Smart Canary - Travels - HD

"An unmarked black door on the fringes of Tunis's medina marks the entrance to photographer Sabri Ben Mlouka's lair. If you've been lucky enough to score an invite to one of his private evening gatherings, you'll follow flickering candles through a restored arabesque archway into a cavernous loft furnished with tables, an unmade bed, and oversize photographs. Is this a gallery? A supper club? An eccentric's private atelier? The answer is all of the above. Ben Mlouka rescued the abandoned building, turning it into an exhibition space for his work---black-and-white portraits of women---and a setting for the events he hosts with chef and TV personality Malek Labidi. Here, small, eclectic groups of guests experience Ben Mlouka's photography and Labidi's inventive dishes, like dates stuffed with foie gras and mint. That such experiments could exist in the heart of Tunis was unfathomable a decade ago, under dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. But the Tunisian Revolution, which began in late 2010 and kicked off the broader Arab Spring, changed everything." With democracy has come creativity: from food to fashion, Tunis is having a cultural renaissance. Read @bysarahkhan's full story from our March issue---link in bio. 📷: David Fernandez Perez

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