Tags / Taouergas
A photography project by Mélanie Wenger.
A few nights ago, the Misrata militias attacked the camp again, taking men and humiliating them in front of the children, and breaking windows and walls. A couple were killed, trying to flee. A young girl was found raped, her breast burned.
New Taouerga families await, fleeing the camp outside Misrata constantly under attack. The remaining men use plywood to divide the basement of one of the buildings to make room for them.
In one of the storage racks, some women settled a little kitchen shared by the 30 families of one of the buildings. Two pots and one pan are available along with two electrical hobs. Some spices and cans were brought in a few months back by the remaining NGOs. Water from the lavatories and natural light do the trick for cooking.
Eïma is dreaming to go back to her city. In february, some of the Taouerga people went out of the camp to demonstrate and ask for their city back, but the militias opened fire on the demonstrators. Taouerga people are still considered as pro-Gaddafi and therefore discriminated.
Chaimza is 16 years old, she fled Taouerga, with her family. Lost her brother in the exodus in April 2011. Her father, brother, sisters, grand-mother and grand-father live in a room divided by sheets for intimacy.
Amia, 15, stays inside her refugee camp in Janzur, Tripoli instead of going back to school where she fears that she will be bullied again. She was forced to flee her home in Tawergha as the Misrata militias attacked her home town, accusing its population of being pro-Gadhafi in the final days of the revolution. Many young girls have been attacked, burned and tortured by Misrata militias.
Taouerga city is situated 30km from Misrata, it was the city of the black-skin Libyans, off-springs of the last slaves. The fight between the two cities goes way back, before the revolution. But since then, Taouergas are held responsible for helping the Gaddafi’s militias during the revolution against Misrata. Since the 8th of August 2011, the Misrata militias control the ghost city, burned to the ground and empty. Nobody is allowed in, even journalists. At the entrance, a board announces the «New Misrata». We made this picture by entering covertly, finally chased by militias, who arrested some of our colleagues a few months ago.
The city of Taouerga is now a ghost city hanted by Misrati militias. All burned and robbed, only some walls are still standing, showing the testimony of hatred. Called now the New Misrata, the city is not easy to access, totally controlled, and no journalist is allowed.
These ladies, gathered in a room enlightened by one and only window, tell the story of the exodus, as they look at some pictures of their city. A lot of them refuse to be seen, for fear of retaliation by the Misratis.
Some men leave the camp to go to work and provide for their family. A few trucks come into the camp in the morning, using cheap workforce for construction sites. But some of them get abducted outside. According to the chief of Misrata militias, they got arrested and are supposed to be in prison. No trace was found of the majority of them.
A new school has been founded by the remaining teachers of Taouerga. Public workers still receiving their paycheck, use it to gather old books, pens, papers, and smuggling food into the camp to create little shops, and new types of trade, like the fridge store which stores perishable goods, and the charger store for cellphones.
One of the Taouerga camps is situated in Janzur. 400 families are living in approximately 1km2, in the military academy where one of Gaddafi’s sons used to study . The electricity power has recently been back thanks to generators shared by some «residents». Some windows are still missing, replaced by blankets or sheets.