THE ACADEMIA EUROPAEA WROCŁAW KNOWLEDGE HUB AND WILLY BRANDT CENTRE FOR GERMAN AND EUROPEAN STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WROCŁAW INVITED STUDENTS, ACADEMIC TEACHERS, AND CITIZENS OF WROCŁAW TO A LECTURE DELIVERED BY PROFESSOR MARIA PARADISO (UNIVERSITY OF SANNIO IN BENEVENTO)
Mediterranean Mobilities: the Moral Geographies of Encounters and Daily Life.
Outline of the lecture:
The lecture engages in a critical discussion that explores the moral geographies of encounters with difference or sameness in a non-Western country and non-secularized society (Italians in Morocco) and in a European secularized society of North Africans in Italy. To examine the geographies of encounters with differences, we need a „merging approach” that is based both on moral geography and the geography of encounters. Secondly, we need to consider not only geo-historical (Gawlewicz, 2016) and processual (Valentine and Sadgrove, 2012) approaches, but also critical perspectives on moral references and assumptions, as well as the transformative nature of encounters vis- à-vis „otherness”. The first is an intricate positionality of looking at these issues in North African conditions and policies compared to those in Europe when dealing with a diversified society – that is, Europeans migrating to and living in Morocco. The second perspective is experiencing life in a non-secular society and in a moderate Muslim country where the relevance of values (impeded, negotiated, struggled) concerning sexual identity and respect for „other” co-exist alongside European snobbery and orientation towards the majority’s people. The third experience is experiencing encounters in Europe both from the perspective of migrants and refugees. In this regard, we discuss Lampedusa as a first station in a bordered controlled European frontier and in light of past political orientation to segregation (post Arab Spring Tunisians refugees in 2012) and current lived difference of migrants from North Africa in Southern Italy. The geography of encounters appears to be built not only on a geo-historical or processual basis but precisely on a Europe-Mediterranean cross-evaluation. This might be considered a third position between the usual categories of xenophobia/discrimination and an uncritical, unproblematic integration policy that stems from a purely European mindset. The findings suggest that a moral geography of lived differences needs to be scrutinized in light of the new contexts of encounters, beyond a Eurocentric mode of thinking, that encompass conditions of reciprocity, different adaptation acceptances, and different moralities.
Maria Paradiso, Professor of Political and Economic Geography (University of Sannio, Italy), is the founder and Chair of the International Geographical Union Commission „Mediterranean Basin” and Primary Coordinator of EU FP7 Marie Curie IRSES „Euro-Mediterranean Changing Relationships” (MEDCHANGe) grant n. 612639. She is a board member of the Social Sciences Committee in Academia Europaea (London). Her publications on the issue of Mediterranean mobilities in English include the following:
- The Mediterranean: Bridging, Bordering and Cross-bordering in a Global Mobile Reality European Review, Volume24, Issue01, February 2016, pp 105-131 http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S1062798715000484, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1062798715000484.
- Mediterranean Lexicon (con P. Giaccaria), IGU-Home of Geography Series, Società Geografica Italiana Editore, 2012.
- “The role of ICTs in mass mobilization: the case of Tunisian Jasmine Revolution”, Growth and Change, 4, 2012.
December 14, 2016, 05:00 p.m.
Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies, University of Wrocław, Strażnicza 1-3, 50-206 Wrocław