Tragedies in the Mediterranean on the contemporary Italian and European stage

Third session of the CEFRES 2023 Francophone Interdisciplinary Seminar. The map and the border
In 2023, we would like to start by questionning the very act of bordering and representing (a territory, a period, a trajectory), in short, thanks to the interdisciplinarity of our respective disciplines, to question the map and the border.

Location: CEFRES Library, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1
Dates: Friday, June 9th, 10 am – 11.30 am
Language: french

Chiara MENGOZZI (Charles University), discussant Michèle BAUSSANT (CNRS, CEFRES)

While, until the 1990s, migrant deaths at sea occurred fairly far from the Italian coast, the situation changed in the 2000s, following a number of shipwrecks that were widely covered by the media.

In the wake of these dramatic events, the public debate on immigration shifted, and the issue of crossing and controlling Europe’s external borders began to take center stage. So why have Italian literature, and even more so the textual field we usually call “migrant literature”, both remained so silent in the face of the tragedies of the Mediterranean? And why do the few novels that deal with this subject fail, for the most part, to represent the Border in all its spatial, temporal, experiential and ideological depth? After formulating a few hypotheses in this regard, Chiara Mengozzi’s talk will explain why other narrative forms, such as investigative reports, or artistic forms, such as theater, have proved more effective than the novel. Finally, she will offer a brief analysis of two plays, “Suppliants at Portopalo” (2009) and “Noise of Water” (2010), which manage to stage the dramatic experience of the Frontier by reactivating the main function of ancient tragedy, namely its ability to formalize the irreducible conflicts of the polis.

See the complete program of the seminar here.


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