Where will the World Social Forum take place?
L: The WSF will take place on the El Manar
University Campus. It is a large campus
with five universities, but we are just going to use three. There will be only one access to enter the campus
and the whole site will be entirely pedestrian, there won’t be any cars, except
for emergencies, deliveries, and a shuttle for persons who have handicaps that
will go around the campus and stop at each university. Buses coming from the city centre will let
people off at the campus entrance and then leave.
How will people and organisations go through the registration process?
L: To register, when you arrive on the Campus site, there will be two orientation stands, one for individual participants and one for delegations from organisations.
Participants will have a registration area at the entrance with about
fifty computers, where they will verify their preregistration, they’ll pay – if they have not already done so on line – and then they’ll collect bags with their badges and programmes. The stand for organisation delegations will be further up at the National Engineering School (ENIT), and registration will take place the same way: The organisation will present itself through one or several members, they’ll verify their payment, if not they’ll pay, and they’ll collect their bags.
The team that established the methodology for the preparatory process will be stationed at the National Engineering School (ENIT). This team will manage communications with the organisations and will orient them about everything concerning activities and equipment and materials for the activities.
How will the campus and activities be organised?
L: The El Manar Campus will be organised along themes, with a central space in the middle for the Youth Camp, dedicated to shows and large events with a large stage, and also several villages.
Activities and workshops will take place in rooms at two of the universities, and the third (ENIT) will be reserved for the WSF’s organisers and orientation services. Activities on human rights themes, migration and freedom of movement, women, revolutionary processes in the region, Palestine, conflicts, war and peace
in the Mediterranean, will be at the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences. At the University of Sciences, activities will take place on the themes of solidarity economies, economic and social rights, questions on debt, finances and governance, free media, access to information, culture, youth, the future of the WSF, environmental justice, and questions on labour unions.
Besides the activities taking place in the rooms, there will also be outdoor spaces, either villages or tents and stands. Villages are spaces that are managed and organised by grouped organisations/associations. For example, FALDI is organising a village on migration where they will group several associations that work on
migration. Same for the village for Arab Revolutions and Palestine, free media, environmental justice, human rights, labour unions and women. These villages will take place at the faculty but outside, not in rooms.
Promotional stands for organisations will be located either in the passageway in the universities between the amphitheatres, or along the path leading from one university to another. There will also be a space dedicated to Tunis Extended, that’s a space for teleconferencing where activities taking place elsewhere (outside of Tunis) can be transmitted, and there will also be the opposite, that’s to say, where the Tunis Extended team will transmit activities taking place in Tunis live on the internet for organisations that wish to do so.
How are you managing food services at the Campus?
L: There will be areas for food services, there are already cafeterias that will be built upon by adding other points of sale a bit throughout the site, and there will also be an area for all the associations that might finance themselves through food sales, with tables opposite for fresh air dining.
W: An agreement was made with the university cafeteria to provide 10,000 meals and 3,000 sandwiches. We’ve also contacted the snack bars inside the three universities. All products sold will respect the WSF Charter. There’s also a complex next to the Campus that has cafés and restaurants. As of now, we’ve managed to ensure there will be 30,000 meals available on the Campus.- How is the work of the site’s logistics team organised?
W: The site’s logistics team will be located on the Campus at the Faculty of Sciences. We started work with a group of four, and we’ve now established sub-commissions on themes such as food services,
security, first-aid, etc., with volunteers and colleagues. Our mission from the beginning was to coordinate landscaping, site layout, sanitary facilities, ease of access for everyone, electrical questions and food services. And also to view the space and the rooms that
we have on the Campus.- Can you give us a status report on the site planning work on the Campus?
W: We are now working on the electrical situation. Outside spaces like the Youth Camp, cultural activities and the villages need a whole set of things for providing electricity, and it’s also necessary to augment and verify that all the electrical connections are working.
For this, we are working with the Tunisian Electrical and Gas Society
(STEG), a public company.
The work on making wifi access points is going well, and everyone will have free internet. This will be the first time in Tunisian history that during a gathering of about 50,000 people, half of them will be using the internet at the same time spontaneously.
Work is ongoing at the Youth Camp, which is located on a football field. We’re going to set up changing rooms, showers and sanitary facilities. We hope that work will be finished one week before the WSF.
(Translated by Danica Jorden)