Between Wakes and Waves: An Anti-Geopolitical View of a Postcolonial Mediterranean Space

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The Mediterranean Sea is today a crucial space for the contemporary globalised world. This essay aims to explore the Mediterranean Sea as a geopolitical space of conflict and dominion through the lens of border and diasporic studies, and to look for those voices coming from “the colonial” as a process that put in crisis the Western hegemonic narration. In this postcolonial and diasporic sea, different powers, interests, dominions, but also voices, dissonances, trajectories, coexist and intersect. Following Paul Gilroy’s argument in The Black Atlantic, today the Mediterranean is both a reduced Middle Passage with the migrant’s routes, and a counter-archive of the contemporaneity. Indeed, the old mare nostrum, as it has always been thought by the Western eye, is a geopolitical laboratory where the contemporary capitalism experiments his necropower in the name of the Nation-State, and where the Fortress Europe exercises its killability extended through borders, walls, confinement, racial devices. The image of a black man left for days floating dead in July 2020 represents the all Mediterranean left-to-die boats; it speaks for the comeback of the removal: the colonial past. In this crossing, the Black Mediterranean let emerge the deep relationship always existed between Africa and Europe.“The sea is history” wrote Derek Walcott. The Mediterranean Sea is indeed also an open and fluid archive of migrants’ stories, lives and narratives, too long dehumanized and turned into mere numbers, deprived of their identities and their names. This counter-archive can interrupt the dominant and hegemonic narration of that part of world that let “the colonial” drawing on the Mediterranean Sea. The right to narrate means the right to be: literature is in this sense the key to have access to the narratives of today’s migration, a pris-de-mot to deconstruct “the danger of the single story”. In this scenario, a new Afroitalian awareness is raising with the aim to subvert the Italian gaze about its colonial history. Some of these writers, mostly women, through their narratives, their arts, their activism, let emerge those Black Italy voices which are silenced and removed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRETHINKING BORDERS. Decolonizing Knowledge and Categories
Pages33-60
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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