Mediterranean Crossings: Borders, Islands, Bodies and the Making of a New Archive
- 28 Westhampton Way, Richmond, VA 23173
- Dates: November 2, 2016
- Venue: Carole Weinstein International Center at the University of Richmond
- Time: 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
- Price: 0
- Send E-Mail
With over twenty thousand migrants lost at sea, the Mediterranean has become the largest mass grave in Europe. Over the past two decades, a substantial but unspecified number of African and Middle Eastern men, women, and children has undertaken the perilous journey from war torn homelands to the shores of Italy, Spain, and Greece. The liquidity of a deceptively porous border has rendered their bodies immaterial, inscribing them in the narrative of invisibility and silence. Yet the sea is also an archive, a landscape composed of relics, fishermen, illegal immigrants, state officials, tourists, hotel and restaurant owners. Emblematically, in Lampedusa, an island lost at sea, in the middle of the Mediterranean, the memories of the crossing, successful or failed, pile up, simultaneously reminding us of the economic fissure between the North and the South of the planet and of larger historical frameworks, those of slavery, colonialism, and transatlantic migrations. Exploring this growing archive, we can recognize different resistances, defying ways to memorialize, historicize, and commemorate, narrations that make the Mediterranean the unexpected laboratory of a new modernity, diasporic and creolized, composed of others and their stories.