Over the last months, EX NUNC started a conversation about some ideas around the idea of Mediterranean today. Read both as a –variously romanticised– landscape for exchange and cross-pollination and as a historically wounded territory of conflict and erasure, this complex geography turns into object of scrutiny in the work of visual practitioners, writers, scholars. In recent years, following increasing media attention towards migration fluxes in the region and the consequent fabrication of the permanent-state-of-exception condition, the Black Mediterranean formulation has been more widely popularised. As an adaptation of Paul Gilroy’s theory of the Black Atlantic, first formulated by Italian scholar Alessandra Di Maio, the Black Mediterranean is meant to incorporate narratives of diasporic living, cultural transnationalism and hybridity, as well as questions of racialisation, reiteration of colonial power-structures and dynamics of hierarchisation, domination, erasure.
EX NUNC research around the concept(s) of Black Mediterranean departs from a collaboration with Italian artists Invernomuto, Simone Bertuzzi & Simone Trabucchi. With their on-going project Black Med, initiated in 2018, Invernomuto seek to investigate stories and histories from the Mediterranean, addressing the sonic trails crossing the sea to tie together its shores. A fluid performative experimentation, adapted to various forms and formats, the project Black Med touches upon many possible lines of enquiries around imaginaries of the Mediterranean. As a body of water apt to both division and connection, the Mediterranean seas and lands are an arena of contrasting historical movements that keep on acting in the socio-economical and political realities of the present. But the Mediterranean is also a (non-)space for speculation and invention. By inviting practitioners from different disciplines and backgrounds to share their own perspective on Black Mediterranean thinking, EX NUNC proposes to facilitate an open conversation between dissonant voices, able to address the intrinsically irreducible nature of a tentacular topic of investigation.
The project unfolds on EXN online platform, through combined interferences of images and words, gestures and sounds. The first intervention to be published within this frame of work was Invernomuto x EXN Atlas, to which followed the launch of the discursive platform EXN Journal-On Black Mediterranean.