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  • Thus Waves Come in Pairs

Thus Waves Come in Pairs

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By taking the conversation between Adnan and Fattal as a point of departure and inspiration, this publication intends to collect interdisciplinary reflections around/about the Mediterraneans through art, oceanic thinking, science, and activism.

In 2021, Etel Adnan and Simone Fattal recorded an intimate conversation about the Mediterranean at their Parisian home: “There are many Mediterraneans: the geographical, the historical, the philosophical... the personal, the one we swim, and we have swum in. It‘s an experience to swim, it is something you can‘t explain to somebody who never swam. This feeling of being held up by this water.”

The third cycle of TBA21–Academy’s curatorial fellowship program The Current, spanning from 2021–23 focused on the Mediterraneans in a program entitled Thus waves come in pairs after a line from Adnan’s poem “Sea and Fog”. It pointed to the necessity of thinking of, and thinking with, the Mediterraneans as plural – plural as their interconnected cultures, and bodies of sweet and salty water, and possibilities of narrating their current transformations.

The rapid expansion of droughts, disruption of cycles of water and heat waves (above and below the rising sea level, where temperatures are rising and biodiversity is declining) across all Mediterranean shores is a key indicator of climate change in this area, occurring at a pace 20 percent faster than anywhere else on the planet. Mediterraneanization is an expansive global phenomenon now, whose borders and inhabitants are on the move. It calls for reorienting, and registering "the limits of our own apparatuses of knowledge,” as Iain Chambers and Marta Cariello write in their essay “The Mediterranean Question: Thinking with the Diver.”

By taking the conversation between Adnan and Fattal as a point of departure and inspiration, this publication intends to collect interdisciplinary reflections around/about the Mediterraneans through art, oceanic thinking, science, and activism, as well as to record fragments of the past two years of research, carried out through conversations, lectures, walks, trips, live performances and podcasts.