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"Maritime Straits: dialogue between the banks": come and join the project!

Published the 11 March 2015

© Sébastien Sindeu / Série Détroits

© Sébastien Sindeu / Série Détroits

What do a geographer, a performing arts researcher and a photographer have in common? The answer: their fascination with maritime straits. These three individuals have joined forces, drawing on their diverse and complementary experiences, to launch a project entitled "Maritime straits: dialogue between the banks". The aim of this project is to explore the "invisible link between cultures" that these unique spaces constitute. Feel free to join this adventure yourself. The project will be closely monitored by the European Straits Initiative.

 

Maritime straits are a mystery. They are the point at which the sea and the land meet, spaces full of wonders, with nature, people and cultures that provide an endless source of fascination. In Europe, maritime straits are gateways to other places, transitory spaces that carry maritime traffic, places of contact and exchange, geographical boundaries contradicted by the traditions they have created, symbolic and highly mythologised places. These spaces are defined and structured by the very sea that cuts them in two, by the people, vessels and goods that pass through them, and by more distant peoples who merely dream of the other side. In short, maritime straits act as an invisible link between cultures.

Maritime straits are a melting pot of protagonists, spaces in constant movement. They symbolise both the similarities and differences within our strong European identity, an identity that is ever-changing, an identity inextricably linked with its maritime history, its cultural past, and its nomadic heritage. This identity has its roots in the Mediterranean basin, and is now reflected in the ever-closer ties between the countries of the north and the south, both within Europe and in the surrounding region – a vast continent of peoples who speak with one voice.

"The maritime strait symbolises the other in its diversity, in its complexity. It is the opposite bank, on the other side of the water"

Drawing on their fascination with straits, photographer Sébastien Sindeu, geographer Nora Mareï, and performing arts researcher Stéphane Resche (see related article) decided to launch a project focusing on some of the straits that form part of the European Straits Initiative. "Maritime straits: dialogue between the banks" offers a cultural and interactive journey through European straits, including the Strait of Messina, the Strait of Kvarken, the Straits of Bosphorus and Gibraltar, the Gulf of Finland and the Strait of Dover. Its aim is to conduct an in-depth analysis – for experts and the general public alike – of the links between Europeans and their neighbours on opposite sides of the banks of Europe's straits. The outcomes of the project will include a series of online documentaries (images, sound and video) and a travelling exhibition. For more information, please contact Stéphane Resche and Sébastien Sindeu.

© Sébastien Sindeu / Série Détroits

© Sébastien Sindeu / Série Détroits

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