‘Trash Selfies’ for a Clean Tunisia

A number of Tunisians have recently been taking selfies while posing near trash before publishing them on social-networking sites via the hash tag #SelfiePoubella (‘trash selfie’) to denounce the piles of trash that fill the country's streets.

The move came in reaction to a number of selfies and pictures posted on social media by the minister of tourism Amel Karboul to promote tourism to the northern-most African country.

On May 16, the admins of the Facebook page ‘Clean Tunisia’ urged [fr] users to upload their selfies:

Nous attendons vos photos selfies qui montreront la gravité de la situation ds nos rues et partout ds le pays..Ils cherchent à cacher la triste réalité de nos quartiers avec les cartes postales des beaux paysages de la Tunisie et oublient qu'il y'a un peuple 3ayech fi ezzebla ….

We are waiting for your selfies to show the grave situation in our streets and everywhere in the country…They are seeking to hide the sad reality in our neighborhoods with postcards of the beautiful landscapes of Tunisia and forget that there are people living in trash…

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In an another message posted [fr] on May 19, they said:

Si les selfies de Karboul sont généralement justifiés par la bonne cause touristique, cette campagne de Selfie Poubella se montre tant d’intérêt touristique que citoyen, puisqu’elle appelle, tout simplement, à débarrasser les villes de Tunisie des déchets qui jonchent ses rues.

Le principe est tout simple( …)Avec pour objectif que le citoyen tunisien, autant que le touriste de passage, profite d’un espace public propre.

«Montrons aux responsables de ce pays le vrai visage de nos rues et la pollution de l'environnement A vos Selfies!!

If [tourism minister] Karboul's selfies are generally justified by the good touristic cause, the campaign Selfie Poubella is of a touristic as well as a civic interest since it simply calls for clearing the cities of Tunisia of the garbage that litter its streets.

The principle is very simple with the aim that the Tunisian citizen as well as the tourist benefits from a clean public space.

Let's show this country's officials the real face of our streets and the pollution of the environment.

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Last April, the government estimated the piles of trash accumulated in the streets at 300 thousand tons blaming “broken” trash collection equipment and an increase in the number of sick leaves taken by trash workers. Despite multiple cleanliness campaigns launched by the authorities and civil society groups in different regions of the country, trash continues to pile up.

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