Couchsurfing in Tunisia: hospitality, the female tourist and the ‘Bezness’

Dora Carpenter-Latiri, Sonja Buchberger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


In the 1992 Tunisian film ‘Bezness’, director Nouri Bouzid tackles the subject of sexual tourism in Tunisia. In essence, the word ‘bezness’ refers to the young Tunisian male preying on tourists and engaging in sexual activities for material gain; but the word has more complex signifiés and connotations so one purpose of this paper will be to clarify them. The film ‘Bezness’ is a fiction and can also be described as a moral tale but it is based on research and interviews on the issue conducted by Bouzid over a period of more than a year. The story of Roufa, although dramatized, stylized and allegorically narrated, is a condensed story of many real bezness[1] in Tunisia. The film was released in 1992 but remains a powerful and realistic depiction of the bezness character frontstage and backstage. The fictional frontstage shows the bezness at work, using his beauty, gift of the gab and well-worn tricks to seduce tourists; the fictional backstage shows us the anxiety, doubts and contradictions of the character.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the TOCOCU 1st Biannual Conference
Place of PublicationLisbon, Portugal
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)9780956750204
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
EventProceedings of the TOCOCU 1st Biannual Conference - University of Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 1 Jan 2010 → …


ConferenceProceedings of the TOCOCU 1st Biannual Conference
Period1/01/10 → …

Bibliographical note

© 2010 TOCOCU and The Author(s)


  • Couch-surfing
  • Tunisia
  • Sexual tourism
  • Inter-cultural encounters


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