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Conference in Tunis on the dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean, nationalism, borders, roots, dwellings, origins, the sea, fluidity, identity. These are the themes of the fifth two-day International Conference on Mediterranean Studies: “Transnational fluid identities” that was held at the prestigious Beit al Hikma, “l’Académie des belles lettres” in Carthage. The main purpose of the event, organized by the Department of Italian Studies of the Faculty of Liberal Arts at the University of Manouba (Tunis), the Chair Sicily Vincenzo Consolo for the dialogue of cultures and civilizations, the Aislli (International association of Italian language and literature studies) – Africa Presidency, in cooperation with the Italian Cultural Institute of Tunis, was to promote dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

 “Numerous studies focus on the concept of transnational fluid identities and their impact on the rebirth of nationalist and extremist movements”, explained the founders of the conference, Alfonso Campisi, full professor of Italian and Romance Philology at the University of Manouba, and Meriem Dhouib, associate professor of Italian Renaissance literature at the same University. “The political exploitation of the concept of identity is extremely dangerous” the two professors noted, “for example nationalism pushed to the limits, which connects feelings of belonging and loyalty to a specific State organization, often promotes the manifestation of xenophobia and conflicts with neighbouring countries’.’ So the conference intended to contribute to the understanding of the dynamics of construction of social identity and of the specific psycho-social processes that lead to nationalism, racism and xenophobia.  

The conference ended with the presentation of the trailer of the film “Siciliani d’Africa. Tunisia Terra promessa” (Sicilians of Africa. Tunisia, the Promised land “by Marcello Bivona and Alfonso Campisi, which is about the emigration of Sicilians to Tunisia at the beginning of the last century, and of the book by Marcello Bivona “The Last Generation”.

“For the occasion the artist Girolamo Palmizi donated to Tunisia and to the University of Manouba his artwork in steel entitled “Dido”, to recreate a connection, a “bridge” between Tyre and Carthage.

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