Artocracy in Tunisia

Issue section: 

Artocracy is an international art project led by the French artist JR and his collaborators.

Previously JR has worked in Brazil in the favelas and on the Wall between Palestine and Israel. His next stop is said to be Egypt.

In Tunisia he worked with six local photographers. The aim is to provoke discussion with huge portraits of ordinary people in the ruins of government buildings destroyed in the revolution. Art is used to show how the world has been turned upside down or inside out, taking it out of the studio and onto the streets and areas of social conflict.

Initially the project met with mixed reaction - some of it hostile - as the artists had not involved local people. Now they realise that they must work more closely with local people and use the photos to open discussions and debate.
This is part of a large worldwide art project putting huge portraits of 100 ordinary people in working class areas where usually only pictures of presidents or rulers are hung.

One of the photographers, Wissal Darguiche, when asked why she did not put up photographs of those killed during the revolution, explained that she wanted to show the future, not the past.

Photos of the artwork can be viewed here