(Re)Discovering the Mediterranean

(Re)DtM_Map

(Re)DtM_Alvaro Velasco (Download pdf)

As a kind of ghost ship, Mediterranean-ness, even apparently sunk, seem to reappear persistently in current debates of this latitude of Europe. On the depths of this sea we submerge to look for the wrecks of a glorious past. Its waters conceal a bright heritage in which the idea of human was conceived; the cradle of Western civilization and, for many, the only ship of hope in a tempestuous world. However, the Mar Medi Terraneum—“sea in the middle of the land”—long time ago stopped to be the centre of the World. Europe is found trapped between a glorious past and a decadent present; who can foresee the future? Delphi does not enjoy its best times nowadays. What does it mean to be Mediterranean in the XXI century? Keep talking about the past only perpetuates the interruption of our story —as Matvejevic poses it—; mentally frozen in a status that not always correspond to the present. We still talk about the Mediterranean as our cultural condition while time proceeds stubbornly passing by. In our mind, the waters of this sea are conceived, not only as the demiurge of our past, but also the one who determines our future. Meanwhile, the ports of our cities welcome very different vessels. What has changed? What still remains? In the eyes of Benedetto Gravagnuolo, “apparently nothing!” Does it make sense to keep talking about the Mediterranean as our cultural condition?(…)

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