Hundreds of Illegal migrants die while trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe every year. According to the BBC, The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that over 2,000 people died or went missing trying to make the crossing to Europe in 2018. Although last year (2018) registered the lowest number of illegal migrants to Europe in five years, the problem is still endemic in the Northern Africa countries of Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Centre for Culture and Arts opened the Mirage d’espoir (Mirage of Hope) exhibition this past weekend (03/05), which continues through June 2 at Palais El Abdelliya.
This contemporary art exhibition is part of an IOM Tunisia initiative to present art merged with migration as a pluralistic phenomenon.
To this end, the Mirage d’espoir project was conceived as a Mediterranean encounter and a linkage among the artistic identities of migrants and migration.
In order to create a dynamic of sharing and exchange, Michela Margherita Sarti, curator of the exhibition, gathered 13 artists representing, besides Tunisia, 10 Mediterranean countries as part of an artistic residency which took place at the Sadika art space in Tunis from 1-15 April. The residency produced works addressing the theme of migration through different approaches.
Artists participating in the project included: Austin Cammileri (Malta); Gulin Hayat Topdemir (Turkey); Lisa Perini (Italy); Marianne Catzaras (Greece); Michela Margherita Sarti (Tunisia/Italy); Mohammed Elouanti (Morocco); Nacho Martin Gomez (Spain); Omar Bey (Tunisia); Teresa Carneiro (Portugal); The Yellow Man (Algeria); Wael Darweich (Egypt); Walid Ardhaoui (Tunisia) and Yves Gobart (France).
A workshop for students of fine arts and young artists also took place during the residency to create a space for reflection and debate on the place of migration in art on the one hand, as well as to offer aspiring artists an opportunity to work alongside internationally recognized professional artists.
The exhibition’s opening in La Marsa was attended by artists, patrons, partners and friends of IOM.