This issue, number 32, on “Art and Creativity: Bridges of Intercultural Dialogue” reflects, through the contributions of artistic creators and specialists in cultural and academic events, on the bridges and safe ports, as well as the reefs and blockades we encounter to achieve the desired recognition that unites us within diversity. Although information and communication technologies place artists in an ideal transnationalisation, this is not always possible, given the difficulties in obtaining visas that facilitate mobility. Art and cultures are dynamic and, therefore, integrate mixing, especially artistic. However, there is a value of economic or political domination that can marginalise or create spaces considered peripheral, until these are observed and related to each other. Cinema, theatre, audiovisuals, the different visual formats, flow before our gaze when we manage to establish a channel of communication and dialogue. Faced with intolerance and cultural stereotypes resulting from ignorance, art is more effective than politics when it comes to creating messages and generating empathy between senders and receivers.
The articles of this issue shed light on this very relevant question today. The Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation has contributed to the discussion, through several pieces.
Jiwar’s founder Mireia Estrada Gelabert discusses several artistic experiences in the city of Barcelona. Jiwar (one of the members of our Foundation) and other artist residencies in the north break social stereotypes through the works and presence of women creators from the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries. Esther Fouchier, from Forum Femmes Méditerranée (one of our funding members), has been creating spaces for dialogue between women for many years, going beyond their political and religious differences. These women, mostly migrants, establish written and oral dialogues that offer them the possibility of showing themselves as they are, finding common ground and recognising themselves in the Other.
For their part, the cultural studies researchers Meritxell Joan Rodríguez (manager of the Foundation’s secretariat) and Itzea Goikolea-Amiano analyse how trans-Mediterranean writings reveal languages and traditions and show the erasures, breaks and silences to which history has subjected them. The creation that circulates through the Mediterranean is closely linked to population movements and their diversity. In the examples offered by these researchers, they range from contemporary authors such as Najat El Hachmi and Alice Zeniter to poets and writers who, in the middle of the last century, promoted journals such as Al-Motamid or Ketama during the colonial era.
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.