What happens when you mix one of Tunisia’s oldest villages with modern artists from all over the world? You get Djerbahood, an art experience like no other.
Welcome to the village of Erriadh, a Tunisian village on the island of Djerba, rich in tradition. During the summer of 2014, 150 artists from more than 30 countries came together for a one-of-a-kind art project called Djerbahood. You’d be hard-pressed to find an art project like this one anywhere else and the cherry on top you ask? It’s completely free!
As you walk through the streets of Erriadh, an authentic and traditional village, you’re walking through a town seemingly built with displaying art in mind. The village is characterized by its narrow streets and the well-preserved “houch” houses, a house built with a patio surrounded by rooms and living areas. White is the color of choice for these homes, and it is rare to find houses with more than one floor.
Erriadh is home to the oldest synagogue in North Africa and has always been a place where people have lived together in peace. The locals have remained true and faithful to their traditions, while always being open and welcoming to travelers of all kinds. It’s not without reason that the team at Paris’ Gallery Itinerrance chose this village as the canvas for this impressive artwork.
At Djerbahood, a name adapted after the artists dubbed the village “The Hood”, you will be treated to a new surprise around every corner. The many artists have created life where nothing but rubble or a plain brick wall once stood. Birds, giraffes and intricate calligraphy feature on the walls, as well as magnificent portraits and messages of peace. If you associate street art with vandalism and mere ramblings on a wall, you will be pleasantly surprised.
It is clear that the artists have been able to see and create something unique, in places that most of us might consider dreary or ordinary. The characteristic domes on top of the houses serve as parts of a watermelon, an octopus, jellyfish, even a cracked egg in truly stunning paintings. Traditional blue wooden doors are used as frames and canvas for surreal paintings. Even the mailboxes have animals painted onto them. Some of the art is easy to spot while other pieces are more hidden and subtle. This results in every building, corner and wall transforming into a treasure hunt through the village’s narrow streets.
Every portrait, scene and abstract shape will easily have you feeling transported into a new place. The way this art shapes, blends and creates new experiences in the city is mesmerizing. Each piece not only utilizes the canvas they inhibit but also its surroundings. Some doors and arches are adorned by paintings and look so natural you might even miss it. All of Erriadh and the island of Djerba is an experience you simply cannot miss out on experiencing. With a room at our Radisson Blu Palace Resort & Thalasso, Djerba you will be right by the action. After all, all is good in the Djerbahood. See you there!