Thursday, August 9, 2012

roll two: tunisia

Here's a roll of film from my trip to see my family in Tunisia⎯home of the Arab spring and Luke Skywalker (Tatooine, folks!), seen through the eye of a film camera. So many people I've come across are curious about Tunisia, having heard very little about it in the past. (Most aren't able to place it on a map).

I find it rather difficult to take pictures of a place that is like home to me. It seems so out of place. Things that are likely exciting for others are just routine for me. That, and I am wary of "exoticizing" my country, because I love it and the people who live there. It's so easy to go, "Ooh, there's garbage!" or, "Ooh, there's a woman in a veil!" or any number of things, but I think that it's strange to take pictures to tell a narrative that isn't really complete. Tunisia has poor areas and it has rich ones; it has people of every size, shape, and level of religion. People assume that because Tunisia is in Africa, it is impoverished, and because it is Arab, it is run by strict fundamentalists. (It's not.) Americans especially (though not always) tend to assume that everywhere else outside the West is a poor, bizarre place with abnormal customs to be photographed and commodified as interesting oddities for their entertainment. I didn't want to take pictures of things that might be "strange" and, thus, "exciting" for strangers. I wanted instead to take pictures that were authentic, that documented my experience, because in the end, that's what really matters. Who visits their family and takes pictures of the people walking on the street? I mean, that's just weird, right? I'll save my "isn't this an interesting grocery store" pictures for Europe.

It may not be as exciting or eye opening, but for those who are curious, here's a glimpse of what I know and love. Enjoy!


  1. Film is great, and that food looks tasty!! I also really like the stairs going up the side of the house :D Great photos!! Thanks for sharing your Tunisia :) Rhi xx

    The Wildest of Dreams

  2. such pretty photos!
    adding this to my travel list

  3. Hey Leila!
    Thanks for the follow over at Everyday Darling! I love when bloggers include film in their photography, it really can change the feel of the feature. I'm followin' ya now and can't wait to see more!

  4. These are fantastic! You really have me itching to get my new roll going ;)


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