Desert Roses For Sale

Tunisia, 2017 – ongoing

Desert Roses For Sale explores the causes and consequences of the 2011 upheavals in Tunisia. For many, the Maghreb country has become the source of hope for the Arab Spring which was broadly celebrated in the West. However, decades of autocratic leadership couldn’t overlook existing problems and emerging issues such as extremism, youth unemployment, and a heavy decline in the tourism sector in the years after the unrest. The country which was – due to its proximity to Europe – an attractive holiday destination for many Europeans for a long time offered cheap mass tourism that did not build on large profit margins. The creative momentum of victory following the first uprisings in Tunisia would build a consensus and bond between classes and people but soon this was shattered by different interests. Issues such as democratization, free market economy and globalization, as is often suggested, were mostly not on the protesters’ agenda. Many of the old leading figures remained in power and so did corruption eventually endangering the hopes of people and creating an immense challenge for the country till today.

Desert Roses For Sale also symbolizes these social problems. Desert roses are crystal structures that arise in hot and dry desert areas like the Tunisian Sahara and consist of grains of sand that are embedded in a crystal of plaster or barite. They are often offered by street vendors near tourist attractions or at markets.