TALKS! “Mediterranean Horizons”

In Collaboration with Contemporary Istanbul and Delfina Foundation.
TALKS! are in english.
Programmed by Salma Tuqan. 


The Mediterranean as a mindset


The Mediterranean, or ‘mare midi terra’ – the sea in the middle of the lands conjures the idea of the sea as a meeting place. With Europe to the North, North Africa to the South, Southwest Asia to the East, and the narrow strait of Gibraltar to the West, the Mediterranean basin is widely understood as the cradle of Western civilisation. Historically, it was a crossroads of ancient cultures: Persian, Mesopotamian, Phoenician, Semitic, Egyptian, Carthaginian, Berber, Iberian, Roman, Greek and Anatolian. Today, the notion of a shared regional identity still perpetuates, albeit shifting, ambiguous and open to interpretation.


Being as much a construction of mythology, idealism and a shared – if simple – aspiration for interconnectedness; as it is of political agenda, the idea of a Mediterranean unity or the co existence of Mediterranean identities still pervades today.


Taking this basin as a key site for the exchange of ideas, this conversation series unfolds across ART-O-RAMA and Contemporary Istanbul, bridging the historic links between both port cities, exploring some of the complexities affecting the Mediterranean today including; global mobility, a reconsideration of the landscape and the legacy of colonialism.


Sat 31
st Aug 15h – 17h : Towards a self generating land 

With Jan Boelen, in conversation with Fallen Fruit, New South and Pelin Tan.

Blessed with ideal climatic conditions the Mediterranean basin is considered one of the world’s leading biodiverse hotspots. Its long standing popularity and interference from man has left its mark across much of its landscape. In recent years there has been a re evaluation of this rich terrain with artists, designers and scientists reimagining overlooked resources and agricultural waste in innovative ways, creating new economies and community led cultural projects. Jan Boelen, director of Atelier Luma leads a conversation between artist collective Fallen Fruit, the New South and Pelin Tan. 


Sun 1st Sep 15h – 17h : The sea connects and disconnects
With Alya Sebti and Lydia Ourahmane 


A shared connection amongst its neighbouring inhabitants is the familiar and fierce bond with the sea – Mare Nostrum, our sea. Historically, a channel for trade, this seemingly land locked body of water has been the site of idealised fiction, opportunity, life and despair.

Art historian and curator Alya Sebti leads a conversation with Lydia Ourahmane, whose work weaves personal experience and embodied trauma in an intimate language of storytelling, to discuss the complexities of movement between borders and the state of in between-ness.






Thurs Sep 12th 


Agricultural entanglements

With Sveva D’Antonio in conversation with Andrea Bagnato and Jumana Manna

Sveva D’Antonio (Co director, Collezione Taurisano) leads a conversation between Andrea Bagnato (architect/ researcher) and Jumana Manna (artist) on the landscape transformation of the Mediterranean following technopolitical experiments, including policies of land draining, synthetic insecticides and engineered seed harvests.

The discussion explores how, as a result, the Mediterranean can be an ideal site to understand modernity – from the US-funded DDT spraying in Egypt, to networks of seed archiving in the aftermath of the Syrian Revolution and yet, how the land can propose opportunities for the revival of dismissed forms of knowledge.



The ‘Black Mediterranean’

With Ismail Einashe in conversation with Ivernomuto and Ayesha Hameed

Inspired by Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic the term ‘The Black Mediterranean’ was coined by academic Alessandra Di Maio. It describes the history of racial subordination in the Mediterranean region, placing the contemporary ‘migrant crisis’ as a continuation of European violent colonialism of the Global South and reaffirming its complicity.

Writer and journalist Ismail Einashe leads a conversation between Milan based collective Invernomuto and artist and academic Ayesha Hameed.