SEE DJERBA was an initiative to develop an art-in-context project on the island of Djerba by curators Aymen Gharbi and Bettina Pelz. The experimental first edition paved the way for the SEE DJERBA International Media Art Biennial.

The island Djerba is inscribed in the tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage as of 2012 for its exceptional natural, cultural and historic heritage. The island is known for its diverse community, its values of tolerance and inclusion. The island’s economy is mainly based on tourism, a source of income that needs to be reinforced by alternative initiatives to ensure sustainable development. So far, most of the artistic and cultural activities happening in Djerba are destined for tourism and are implemented by non-local organizations. The idea was to stimulate local initiatives for contemporary art. We wished to develop a temporary format of local interest and open to international participation.

SEE DJERBA took place from 21 July to 4 August 2017 as an international workshop to discuss and to develop an open space for contemporary art, embedded in a dialogic approach with cultural heritage, eco habitats, and natural environments. At the same time, it was a learning environment on contemporary art production, audience development, and project management for about 120 local volunteers joining the activities. It resulted in an exhibition project open to the public on 29/30 July 2017.

Artistic directors Aymen Gharbi and Bettina Pelz were supported by the INTERFERENCE Community, an open collective that developed an international light art project in the Medina of Tunis in 2016. Partly they originated from Djerba and came to Tunis for their studies, Aymen Gharbi is one of them. Some of them were as well part of the IJOU GDENA initiative that became a driving force in the preparation.

Local, national, and international experts on democratic culture, sociocultural processes, sharing heritage, city marketing, and tourism contributed to discussion, training, and experimentation. At the same time, a selection of national and international artists came to Djerba to explore the island, its architecture and heritage, its culture, and its people. All of them shared insights into their artistic research, joined discussions and developed site- or context-specific concepts for artwork. The public presentation of all the artists’ studios and the workshop results took place on 29-30 July 2017. The access to the decentral exhibition was free of charge. About 6.000 visitors came during two nights, mainly locals.

Team. SD17. Photot Syrine Siala (4)
Production. SD17. Photo Zied Hadded (5)_2000x1333
Community. SD17. Photo Khalil Yamoun (1)
Production. SD17. Photo Zied Hadded (8)_2000x1333
Groll Seltmann. SD17. Photo Groll Seltmann 7
Community. SD17. Photo Constanze Flamme (1)
Amine Ahmed. SEE DJERBA 2017. Photo Zied Hadded. - Kopie
Photos: Brahim Gueddich, joeressen+kessner, Sonja Tautz, Martina Tritthart.

Judith Greitemann


I am glad to have the opportunity to get different views on the importance of art in social context and to discuss the role of art in societal transformation processes. In this context, I think it´s very exciting to develop strategies and concepts in a theoretical and also a practical way and to implement the concepts in Djerba.


(1) Workshop with Jule Kriesel 


I take focus on issues of self-expression, self-empowerment and art in public space. By using video and light installations I examine the impact of selfies on the empowerment to create varied and complex self-presentations. I also want to find out more about the projection´s impact on the own image in a public space.


Since 2015 I am in the bachelor degree of cultural Science and aestethic practical research“ at the university of Hildesheim. My focus of research is media and theatre.


Julien Rathje

To grasp “interculturality” as the inbetween of geographies as well as artistic mediated practices is a main focus of studying at the Philosophy Department at the University of Hildesheim.
SEE DJERBA gives me a different field to apply and attach these discourses to a concrete context, also under a critical self-reflecting perspective.  To get in touch with people from different backgrounds in Djerba can only be enriching.

SEE DJERBA Contribution
I am interested in the role of the project itself, the function and effects it wants to provide – how is it connected with the local scene/community? What does/can/will SEE DJERBA and its spin-offs represent?

The focus of Julien Rathjes research is on the productive dimensions of art and aesthetic practices and its critical relation to capitalist mechanisms.

2017: Studies of Philosophy and Art Management (Istanbul)
Since 2016: Kunstraum 53 (Gallery, Hildesheim)
Since 2015: Studies of Intercultural Philosophy and Arts (Hildesheim)
Until 2015: Studies of Social Sciences and Philosophy (Leipzig)

Jule Kriesel


I am glad to join the SEE SJERBA Program this year and I am looking forward to connect with enlightening people. Especially the trans-disciplinary convent interests me here. I think light as an additional and fleeting element, the base of visual perception is a great instrument to change (public/ private) space and our interaction with it, without transforming environment in its physical material.
Whats the matter of art in Djerba though, and how can we connect as creative thinking and creating group in a permeabel and long-lasting way?
What light and darkness elements will be experience?

(1) Workshop with Judith Greitemann

I am focused on media & camera (light) and the possibility of the self representation through and by it. I would like to discover different models of self introspection or representation through light, always swinging in between the public and intimate space and our understanding of those terms. Do we have similar bounderies in self representation? What changes do we experience through different persons of surveillance behind the camera? What do you feel, when you are the one who sets the perspective and how can a public projection interact with reality? How does your light projection perform, how is the projection performed by the space and place of the screen?

I am in the bachelor degree of „cultural science and aesthetic praxis” with the subjects theatre and media at the university of Hildesheim since 2013

Since 2015 I joined the study program “cultural policy in international comparison” in Hildesheim and spent one year in Istanbul for studying and internship.


Leila Ben Gacem

Bettina and Aymen are united again and with a team of passionate young people. They will to show the world magical Djerba by night how could I miss this! I still can’t get over the success of INTERFERENCE in the Medina of Tunis, which made the sad historical urban quarters full of life, art and shadows over 3 unforgettable nights. Today I am more than exited for Djerba, which is always ready to enchant the world with its beauty. I am an expert in nothing I do, but passionately supporting youth positive urban initiatives!

[1] Sustaining traditions and making a living: Arts and Crafts in Tunisia // ART AND HERITAGE Workshop

Leila is creating and supporting soiocultural activities to restore the vibrancy of the medinas’ throughout Tunisia. She is dedicated to an innovative mix of celebrating heritage, socio-entrepreneurial engagement and fostering cultural developments. She is an anchor point for many initiatives and projects that care for sustainable change in contemporary Tunisia.

Since 2016 | Dar El Harka
Since 2015 | Journal de la Medina
Since 2013 | Dar Ben Gacem
Since 2006 | Bluefish

Leila Ben Gacem | Facebook