Myriam Amri

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Harvard U.

Grant number

Gr. 10207

Approve Date

October 7, 2021

Project Title

Amri, Myriam (Harvard U.) " “To Turn the Currency Around”: Money, Nation-State & Political Belonging in Tunisia"

Since the revolution of 2011, Tunisians have grappled with the many dilemmas of political transition. On the one hand, new spaces to negotiate the terms of sovereignty have emerged, and on the other, an economic crisis marked by inflation has endured. At the core of these processes, the national currency, the Tunisian dinar, decried as unstable, trafficked, and possibly even fake, has become a key site of public debates. This project investigates national currency as a medium through which post-revolutionary aspirations are crystallized and asks: How do the triadic relations among money, its authorized material forms, and its counterfeits come to define the nation-state in Tunisia today? How are articulations of political belonging tied to economic forms such as currency? This research addresses the question by bringing together the making of an official currency in relation to the practices of “turning the currency around” which lumps together counterfeit schemes and illicit conversions of the Tunisian dinar. In doing so, I show how the form of the nation-state, contained within territorial boundaries, and the form of money, crystallized into national currency, are co-constituted, constantly (re)produced, and (di)stabilized by a range of actors, from state leaders to currency traffickers.