The fourth edition of Jaou seeks to explore the migration phenomenon in the Mediterranean. Chanted by Homer in his Odyssey, the cradle of great civilizations and a medium of cross-fertilization between the peoples of both shores (Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs), the Mediterranean, which means in Latin “between land”, has become the precipice in which are shattered the dreams of disheartened young people. Every year, thousands of persons perish there, while trying to cross the sea to reach the European shores via the island Lampedusa.
It should be borne in mind that, while the Tunisian youth are dreaming today of leaving and embarking in flimsy boats, at their own risks and perils, these same youth come from a country that had formerly been the land of migration. Indeed, Tunisia has always been a haven for foreigners, and its culture was deeply imbued with others cultures of the Mediterranean basin, thanks to the different populations it has welcomed on its lands.
The 2017 edition of Jaou addresses the issue of migration in the broad sense of the term, whether it is voluntary or forced, economic or political, legal or illegal. The Mediterranean is at the heart of these migratory flows, and keeps on telling not only about the relationship with the self and the other, but also about the notions of the frontiers, belonging and identity. These issues are translated in artistic and cultural productions by a number of artists and intellectuals across the region.
Jaou looks forward to discussing this theme from the prism of artistic action, through inviting the artists to join efforts in order to generate greater public awareness of the tragedies happening on our doorstep. The exhibition organized in the context of Jaou will try to suggest a human and community-based approach for the issue of migration, away from geopolitical analyses and media spectacles.