Blue skies and sunny beaches – rickety boats perilously crowded with migrants. Space of encounter, cradle of culture – border patrolled by coastguards and drones. The images of the Mediterranean struggle to escape the stereotypes, and the narratives around and across this sea seem to be arranged around recurring binaries: tourist travel – trafficking of migrants; the crowded beach (or the picturesque quiet cove) – the overcrowded refugee camp looking out to a forbidden sea; poverty and destitution – wealth and prosperity; the refugee as victim – the refugee as criminal (or at least scrounger).
How do literature and the arts challenge these perceptions, binaries and stereotypes in representations of migrants and refugees? Can the Mediterranean be re-shaped as a space of possibility and of disruption of assumptions and power structures? How can narratives located in and around the Mediterranean offer resistance and different modes of constructing, or disrupting identities?
This seminar will consider how works of fiction, of life writing, for the theatre, and in visual arts – each focusing on different areas of the Mediterranean – challenge dominant representations to create alternative imaginative spaces of autonomy, dignity and responsibility; how they engage audiences to see beyond the alienation of the other. Hosted by the Centre for Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths (University of London) and with the participation of a member of the IEMed’s Gender Equality Programme, the event will bring together scholars that will allow the audience to delve into the intricacies of the Euro-Mediterranean space from a gender perspective.
Silvia Caserta (University of St. Andrews, UK), “Speaking (up) from the abyss. The Mediterranean middle passage in Lina Prosa’s Lampedusa Beach”
Mariangela Palladino (University of Keele, UK), “‘Etre vraiment vrai’: Exhibiting visual stories of migration in Morocco”
Rita Sakr (Maynooth University, Ireland), “The ethico-politics of mixed-genre, relational life-writing in Atef Abu Saif’s The Drone Eats with Me”
Meritxell Joan-Rodríguez (University of Barcelona and European Institute of the Mediterranean, Spain), “The ‘Mediterranean Borderland’ through the works of Najat El Hachmi”
Chaired by Lucia Boldrini, Director of the Centre for Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London
Attendance is free but registration is essential. To register, click here.
Fore more information about the programme and the speakers, click here.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.