With international borders closed, the families of 134 Tunisians have lost the chance to repatriate their loved ones who died in France due to COVID-19-related complications. Obligated to bury them on the spot, many were unable to honor their family members’ final wishes.
One early Sunday morning in the northern suburbs of Tunis, a small group of women - primarily from Côte d'Ivoire - set up shop in the middle of the bustling Bousalsla market. In the same spot every Sunday thereafter, accompanied almost exclusively by Tunisian male vendors, these women sold products from their homelands and anchored a growing sub-Saharan community to the neighborhood, until March 22, when measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 shut the market down and sent the vendors away. Their stories from a precarious, weeks-long confinement, firsthand.
In the Gabès sky, smoke from the Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT) rises up into toxic clouds. Every day, this pollution engulfs the city and suffocates the inhabitants. For years, farmers, workers, and activists have been mobilizing against the factory’s harmful practices. In their ongoing struggle, many citizens of Gabès refuse to resign.
In Bab Dzira, at the heart of Tunis, the old street of Sidi Bouchoucha is undergoing reconstruction. Part of the pavement is completely demolished and large potholes are abundant. But on this Sunday morning, October 20, 2019, the neighborhood is taking on a new face with dozens of residents outside determined to clean it. However, this one-off initiative is also symbolic of a wider event that is taking place across the country: the reappropriation of public space.
In the village of Blahdiya, Fatma makes her way through the crowd gathered to offer their condolences. At her feet lay a grid of newly constructed graves: the final resting place of the Sabbela accident victims. Fatma could have been one of them, but fate had other plans for her. For this farm worker, survival is a daily struggle.