“I think the best part of things, of projects like this, is that they are very community oriented, so many people get to communicate with them, see them, experience them.”
Speaking to Associated Press news agency, San Francisco-based artist Monica Canilao gets to the heart of why such a diverse range of people have come to the renowned, sand-washed white homes on Tunisia’s island of Djerba to exhibit their work.
At least 150 street artists from over 30 countries have used walls, water tanks, and other surfaces across the village of Erriadh as their canvasses, turning the area into an “open-air museum”, according to organisers at Galerie Itinerance, a Paris-based art gallery.
But these murals and sculptures pay attention to the unique local environment which they inhabit. From abstract calligraphy to a turbaned man nestling into quiet street corner, the images aim to draw attention to this sleepy village while also respecting its traditions.
“I think for me my goal here is to make the interventions really kind of small and humble so they fit within this neighbourhood, because actually this neighbourhood is very specific and very beautiful already,” artist Swoon told Associated Press news agency.
For the locals, who had mixed reactions to the work, this open approach is welcome news.