Over the past fifteen years, bodies have been washing up on the Tunisian beaches of Zarzis, along with the detritus expelled daily by the sea. The bodies are those of men, women and children who, just before they drowned, still believed that this shoreline would be the first step towards their European Eldorado. In 2011, a local man decided to create a burial site for each one of these anonymous people. Chemseddine Marzoug set to work on his own initiative, building what is now known as the Graveyard for the Anonymous.
While taking photographs of Chemseddine carrying out his charitable work, Kamel Moussa — who is also from Zarzis — learned that in addition to taking care of those who died as they crossed the water, this fisherman fights for the survivors. Together with local organisations, Chemseddine helps the migrants who reached Tunisian soil and have been unable to move on, find accommodation, and, if possible, work.
During the project, the photographer was reminded of the situation that he recorded in 2018 in his book Unstable Balance, which captured the humiliating and desperate experience of young Tunisians who, disillusioned with the revolution and having bravely attempted to leave the country, were repatriated to Tunisia by force. Like them, many migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are now condemned to live in the purgatory of globalisation: neither in hell nor paradise, nor in a cemetery, yet all infinitely removed from their hopes and dreams.
- Text by Jean-Marc Bodson (.tiff)