tekst shousha

Despite the scorching desert heat, I was amazed to find little garden plots complete with garden ornaments all over the Choucha refugee camp when I visited it in Tunisia in 2011. I also witnessed how inhabitants personalized the standard tents provided by UNHCR. They would cut into the tent fabric in order to increase the height or to add on an entrance awning. Strangely, the public relations officer who guided me around the camp had never noticed these expressions of individuality. He seemed fixated on the victimhood of the camp inhabitants and was completely oblivious to the signs of their resistance to that stigma. Aware of probably being fated to a long stay in the camp, the inhabitants felt a need to distinguish themselves from the monotonous official surroundings. These little gardens were expressions of resistance to bureaucratically imposed victimhood.