The boycott of Tunisia by French artists seems to be taking shape. Two performances were canceled so far.
Congolese singer and rapper GIMS has canceled his performance in Djerba island, Tunisia, in protest of what he claims the growing anti-migrant sentiments in the country.
“Children, women and men expelled from Tunisia to Libya live in inhuman conditions. I cannot go to Tunisia, scheduled for August 11th,” wrote the singer in his Instagram story on Sunday.
“I don’t know where the solutions are. But this extreme distress is unbearable…,” the 37-year-old singer added in his Instagram story.
Since the start of July, some unverified videos and reports circulating on social media claiming that the Tunisian authorities have forcibly expelled hundreds sub-Saharan migrants in irregular situations, including children and pregnant women, to the desert and hostile areas bordering Libya and Algeria after racial unrest in Sfax, Tunisia’s second-largest city.
The Tunisian Interior Ministry denied such reports and confirmed there were no arbitrary expulsion of migrants to the Sahara borders.
GIMS, born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, came to France in 1988 at the age of two with his parents, who were then migrants in an irregular situation.
Today, ranked as one of France’s most successful artists, GIMS has failed to get the French citizenship.
The rapper’s recent decision not to perform in Tunisia sparked heated debates around the artists’ responsibilities in holding their host countries accountable for their politics.
Today, the French hip hop group from Toulouse, Bigflo et Oli, which is composed of two brothers, Florian “Bigflo” Ordoñez and Olivio “Oli” Ordoñez, announced the cancelation of their performance in the Carthage Festival in Tunisia.
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