From the European South

a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities

arcipelaghi postesotici: confini italiani a sud e a est, frontiere sessuali e pratiche artistiche transnazionali



postexotic archipelagos: southern and eastern italian borders, sexual borders and transnational artistic practices. in this contribution we discuss the symbolic geography of the italian state, starting from its frontier- territories to the east and the south. in europe, these italian frontiers work as hinges and embody a separation: to the east they separate the post-socialist east from the democratic-capitalist west, to the south they create a narrowing between the civilized european west and african and middle-eastern postcolonial processes. from this perspective we will re-interpret, in order to transform them from a post-exotic and postcolonial perspective, the concepts of south, east, southern question and orientalism, periphery and border, which are produced and utilised by the west’s political and academic institutions. to create a self/critical geopolitical perspective, we place ourselves symbolically on two islands that have marked our biographies (lošinj, in the quarnero archipelago, which belonged to italy during fascism, and sicily and its archipelagos), which capital/s tries/y to win over in different ways. whereas in dominant histories and imaginaries islands are deserted, discovered, wild, infernal, uncontaminated, or ideals of pure eroticism, in our life experiences islands correspond, in a perspective of integration, to places that are caught up in complex dynamics of domination: national, economic, touristic, military and cultural. this paper combines the anthropological method with the artistic process, and advances the idea of a post-exotic archipelago as the shape of an alliance between islands usually considered to be peripheral. the second part of our paper will therefore centre on the post-exotic archipelago installation, which we created at the university of paris8 in may 2014. through images and a brief video we will show how the installation translates, thanks to the practice of sewing, the geography of our relations.




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