Venezuelan born artist, based in Rome, GÔMEZ aka Luis Gomez de Teran was invited to Zarzis, Tunisia, to paint the Fishing Museum as part of the project of cooperation between Italy and Tunisia for the development of the local fishing.
Zarzis is a small town on the Mediterranean Sea, where everything is slow and people are more laid back, and actually, there’s not much to do but fish and eating your catch. Many guys desire to leave, they dream about European cities, imagining them far brighter than they actually are. And the young and ambitious feel it’s their right to go leave Zarzis and discover the truth by themselves, but this right is not accorded to them, as getting Visas is really difficult. That’s why, many young guys choose to leave the country as a Harraga, a clandestine, with no document, on a small boat sailing at night aching for a better future, and Zarzis is one of the most used harbors to leave Tunisia.
Either you sail or you choose to stay, the sea is the barrier from which many stories start.
About The Mural
The mural takes inspiration of the story of two brothers, Lazar and Karim. One left Zarzis to Paris as a clandestine but has been since arrested and, after several experiences in French prisons, sent back home. The older one, Karim, stayed in his hometown and is an important member of the local religious community.
For religious reasons, in fact, they didn’t wish to be photographed. So the artist has chosen to represents the story of two other guys, Samed and Said. One is a local political activist who fights to improve the social condition of his country, the other has lost a brother in the sea, killed by a Tunisian military ship that sank the boat on which they tried to get to Italy. Now all he can do is stare at the sea and dream to cross it to Europe, to reach his friends who have been luckier than his brother. A journey that his family will never allow him to start, for the fear of losing one more son at sea.
The piece was painted on a piece of sheet metal that is a wreck of an old ship, abandoned on the pier from which many of these trips embarked.
The message that the artist is trying to relay is to think over about how poorly we’re running this planet that permit invisible people to choose the way the world has to turn, by building walls instead of bridges, spreading hate and fear.
Gomez is very thankful for the opportunity to get acquainted with members of this small village. Through their stories, he has known different realities, and he said: “The more you grow old, the more it seems that the most of the creative work on this planet develops in the net of random events, especially the good things.”
GÔMEZ was born in Caracas, Venezuela but grew up in Rome, Italy. He began at an early age dabbling in street art, with the first tags in the suburbs of the Italian capital. After experimenting with oil on canvas, Gomez went back to walls, with huge murals whose themes predominantly stemmed from classic mythology and stories belonging to the ancient Greeks. Today, his work can be appreciated on walls in Rome, London, Barcelona and Berlin.