Tunisia | Saving the Seas

Role: Oral History & Visual Documentary

For millennia, the Mediterranean peoples have conducted maritime quests for myth, treasure, inspiration, food, commerce, transportation, conquest, exploitation, research, discovery and adventure.

The Oral Med project for the EU Maritime Museum in Marseille seeks to capture the oral histories and current state of traditional fisherman throughout the Mediterranean. These photos from Tunisia capture some of the oldest fishing methods still in use. At the same time, they reflect the reality of these fishermen: in 2 to 3 years, the sea will no longer have enough fish to provide them with a livelihood.

“What would Mediterranean culture be without vibrant economic and social communities connected with the sea itself?! What values have predominated that impoverish biological and cultural life of the region, and how can business and planning evolve to honour, respect and promote patrimony and cultural birthright of Mediterranean citizens? How can communities retain and promote local livelihoods, social
networks, cuisine, music, stories, values, varieties of customs and language in order to develop one of the most compelling arenas of cultural complexity in the world?” Institute of Ecotechnics

Institute of Ecotechnics, UK, has undertaken an expedition documenting the current statues of fisheries of the Mediterranean rim. Oral historian Johanna Eurich has been spearheading interviews, with Mark Abouzeid,videographer, and local translators. Over 70 interviews of fishermen, shipbuilders and other community members have been filmed.

The Museu de Valencia d’Etnologia and Museu Maritima, Barcelona, are planning exhibitions commencing in 2014 based on this Institute of Ecotechnics expedition.

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