Take a traditional North African village on an island in the heart of the Mediterranean and invite some of the best street artists from around the world to add their creations, and what do you get? Djerbahood, an incredible open air museum of art in quite a unique location. Set close to golden sandy beaches and deep blue seas, this treasure trove of art is an experience that will be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike for years to come.
Erriadh's artistic awakening
Erriadh, an authentic and traditional village on Djerba and one of the oldest in Tunisia, became a major place of expression for artists from various cultures in 2014. Mehdi Ben Cheikh, the founder of Itinerrance Gallery in Paris, invited international graffiti artists, spray cans in hand, to create their murals in the small settlement located in the Gulf of Gabes. The 150 artists from around 30 nations have created a global panorama of spectacular and thought-provoking street art and, in doing so, created an essential cultural attraction on Djerba. Locals helped the artists with the installations, supporting them with materials and entertainment while they worked.
A colorful new world
Wander through the streets of this traditional village and hunt for the varying collection of vibrant murals displayed on the houses and walls. The artists have left around 250 street art works, such as the unicorn by the South African artist Faith47 or the large-format warriors on walls by the Argentine artist Jaz. There are also contributions from the Spanish graffiti artist B-Toy, British powerhouse Phlegm, and the Tunisian star El Seed. On the roof of a house at the entrance to the town, the French artist Rodolphe Cintorino, has spray painted the word "The Hood" in capital letters. Even car wrecks have been turned into colorful monuments by the artists, such as a depiction of a sleeping tiger. With the huge variety of artists comes a large difference in styles, meaning there will be something for every taste on this fascinating day out.
An important part of Jewish history
Long before the invasion of street artists, Erriadh had a fascinating history, making it worth staying to explore beyond the artwork. Jewish refugees fled to the village in 586 BC when Solomon's temple was destroyed by the Babylonians and again after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. Finally, in the 16th and 17th centuries, Andalusian Jews fled to Erriadh before the Inquisition. The La Ghriba Synagogue in the village is believed to be the oldest Jewish prayer house in Tunisia and contains one of the oldest Torah scrolls in the world.