In contemporary discussions of European borders, the sea stands as a silent and invisible yet violent medium that accentuates the tragic or heroic border crossings of migrants and refugees. Although it cannot be grasped, the sea becomes a dynamic environment that responds to the violent assaults of border crossings and surveillance technologies. Three different narratives are conflated during this event in order to explore the different kinds of knowledge of the techno-natural echoes of violence in Mediterranean borderline waters and shores.
Breaking the Waves: The Excess of Mobility During the Long Summer of Migration
Talk by Dimitris Parsanoglou
Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo
Film screening and discussion
Sudeuropa opens with shots of cliffs filmed from the sky, taken from a TV program about regional folklore and broadcast on the Italian Canale 5 Mediaset. A female voice reports the words of the host who moderated the program. They boast of the beautiful panorama, the Mediterranean Sea, the wonderful landscape, and the holiday pleasures available on the Italian island Lampedusa, the southern limit of Italian territory. Later we understand that these images of the coastline also attest to the surveillance of this territory. Filmed in close collaboration with the authorities, they trace the regular patrol routes of military and police helicopters which secure the Italian border and prevent any uncontrolled arrival of people who left Tunisian and Libyan shores with the aim of reaching Europe by boat.
Dimitris Parsanoglou is a sociologist of migration. His work focuses on transnational labor markets and urban spaces, migrant domestic work, digital media, and border crossings. He lives and works in Athens.
Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo are an artist duo based in Geneva and Berlin. Their collaborative artistic practice involves long-term research on the economies of visibility in relation to past and present mobility regimes over the southern and northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.