The Middle Sea

Sights and Sounds from the Mediterranean

Curated by Claudia Zanfi. Works and Videos by: Zineb Sedira (Algeria); Ali Hassoun, (Beirut); Ofri Cnaani (Tel Aviv); Maria Thereza Alves (Marseilles); Zafos Xagoraris (Athens); Yto Barrada (Tangiers), Marcello Maloberti (Palermo). On the occasion of the prestigious art and music festival Time in Jazz, founded by the well-known jazz musician Paolo Fresu in the heart of Sardinia-Berchidda, Claudia Zanfi (director of aMAZElab), presents a project based around the theme of the year: H2O – the Water Element. Through the gaze of some of the key protagonists of international art, THE MIDDLE SEA. Sights and Sounds from the Mediterranean is a journey along the shores of the Mediterranean, the cities, the inhabitants, the territories and the relationships that have been built between them. Moving both vertically and horizontally between the Mediterranean and Europe, between East and West, the journey consists of a round trip, an infinite series of arrivals, contacts, migration, contamination and transmission. The effects of globalisation and the changing geopolitical scenario have led to phenomena of rapid transformation in the sense of places, threatening delicate social and environmental equilibria. The abandonment of traditional ways of life and the growth of new megalopolises, the increasing migratory flows and the tourist resorts, the ancient trade routes and the great infrastructures, the complex and hybrid role of the city and the great Mediterranean ports, with their various cycles of both work and play, their social and ethnic components, the openings and connections to the surrounding territory as well as their ties with the continental dimension behind them. Istanbul, Beirut, Nicosia, Tel Aviv, Alexandria, Tangeri, Palermo, Barcelona, Marseilles, Athens: these are just some of the cities involved in the project, and which all look onto the Middle Sea. The project adopts a multi-disciplinary approach in which artists, architects, activists and theorists have all made their contribution to describing the transformations of the city and the cultural kaleidoscope to be found along the Mediterranean coasts. Water has always played a fundamental role in the everyday lives of these coastal towns, influencing their colours and smells, activities and relationships: a precious resource and a point of reference for both the cities and their inhabitants. From 9th to 16th August 2009 Berchidda – Sardinia (Italy)