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The Mediterranean: Bridging, Bordering and Cross-bordering in a Global Mobile Reality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

Maria Paradiso*
Affiliation:
Department DEMM, University of Sannio, Piazza Arechi II, Benevento, Italy. E-mail: paradiso@unisannio.it

Abstract

If we look at the Mediterranean only as a space, a dissonant geography is obvious. Its diversity is mistakenly reduced in a process of ‘diorthosis’, a cognitive and operational approach that starts from assuming the nature of things and functionality modes rather than arriving at a proper image via actual analysis.1 The study of flows, of networks i.e. the circulation of ideas, people, finances, and so on – challenges the continuous representation of the Mediterranean between homogeneity and otherness, and re-posits it as both a post-colonial imbricate site of encounters and currents and as a site of new hegemonic and counter-power discourse(s) and alliances. This paper explores the ‘mobility’ paradigm as an initial approach to contemporary geographies of the Mediterranean. The latter are being created not only by the media, powers and ideologies, but also by everyday people’s inter-ethnic, inter-cultural, and emotional interactions in places and digital communication channels. Such interactions are often characterized by blockages of inter-ethnic or inter-cultural exchanges, as well as by inequalities. They present and discuss initial paths of new encounters structuring North–South relationships, and vice versa, but also circular and East–West ones since they are typified by a variety of personal and virtual mobilities in terms of gender, motivations, emotional geographies, impacts, and circulation rather than origin/destination, and so on. It seems to me that the internet and people’s spatial mobility underline a deep process of change for the Mediterranean. A dialectic of diaspora politics, circuits of funds, weapons, empowerments, and emotions, challenge the boundaries of political communities in transformation. The Mediterranean thus appears as a global space of confrontation, emulation, opposition, dialectics, and change. Places, flows, wires and digital TV are the loci for all this. There is no assumption of ‘Mediterranean as a bridge of cultures’; instead, we all are actors in networking communities

Type
Erasmus Lecture 2014
Copyright
© Academia Europaea 2016 

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