Communities Between Islands: Untraced Passages

In this time of climate emergency, the Archipelago Network invites you to explore contemporary environmental concerns within diverse island communities, through an artistic lens. “Communities Between Islands” is a collaborative initiative involving Providenza in Corsica, France; Cherimus in Sardinia, Italy; and Archipelago Network in Syros, Greece. From September 2023 to the end of 2024, these three Mediterranean organizations host nine international artists who will collaborate with local communities through residencies and workshops, creating novel artistic commissions inspired by local thematics and concerns. The participating artists will present the outcome of the residencies in collaboration with local art institutions (FRAC Corsica, Museo Nivola in Sardinia, and the Syros International Film Festival) and the municipalities of Bastia, Perdaxius, and Syros-Ermoupolis on each respective island.

Chapter #01: “Untraced Passages”
Residency Program & Public Presentations in Syros, September 2023

For the first chapter of the residency, the Archipelago Network has invited the artists Marianne Fahmy (1992, Egypt), Latent Community (Sotiris Tsiganos, 1992, and Ionian Bisai, 1992, Greece), and Elke Marhofer (1967, Cuba) to investigate the contemporary environmental crisis and local realities through time-based media. The residency program and public presentations are implemented in collaboration with curator Eva Vaslamatzi.


The participating artists will visit Syros this September, where they will host a series of public workshops and works-in-progress presentations between September 23-28, 2023, in collaboration with the Syros International Film Festival (SIFF). A screening dedicated to the participating artists’ previous work will take place in Ermoupolis on September 30.


Held in collaboration with the Koinsep Apano Meria
September 23-28
Various locations in Syros island
Reserve your spot here until September 20

Marianne Fahmy
Saturday, September 23, 12:00
Archaeological Museum of Syros
Participants: 10 persons
Duration: approx. 2 hours
Workshop will be conducted in English

The workshop invites participants to explore storytelling through visual art  inspired by the artifacts of the Archaeological Museum of Syros. Using and experimenting with the medium of their choice, such as drawing, collage, photography, or writing, the participants will engage in storytelling exercises, reflecting on significant personal moments and community experiences. They will note key events and emotions, and even share personal or family archival photos. Each person will select a museum artifact to interpret it in unique ways and incorporate it creatively into their work; it might inspire text, photos, drawings, or other applications. This process helps the participants to uncover connections and contradictions within their narratives. Throughout the workshop, Marianne Fahmy will offer guidance on various art techniques, composition, and storytelling elements like symbols, colors, and texts.

Latent Community
Monday, September 25, 17:00
Various locations in Ermoupoli
Participants: 10 persons
Duration: approx. 2 hours
Workshop will be conducted both in English and Greek

The workshop is offered by Latent Community as a critical reflection on their research experience of sonic explorations in the Mediterranean. The workshop will focus on the ecological aspect of sound and how we could use sound devices as tools to re-explore ways of co-existing with non-human ecosystems. Using different types of microphones, the artists will show the workshop participants how we can understand the ecological crisis through sound. The aim of the workshop is to inform participants about how sound can become a system for caring and understanding non-human ecosystems.

Elke Marhofer
Thursday, September 28, 18:00
Ktima Pomogna, Ano Meria
Participants: 15 persons
Duration: approx. 2 hours
Workshop will be conducted in English

Elke Marhofer’s workshop initiates with a gathering to ponder artistic resilience amid environmental and mental crises. She draws inspiration from Félix Guattari’s ecological perspectives, distinguishing between natural, social, and mental ecologies. Through a film screening and open discussion with participants in the unique environment of the Pomogna farm, Marhöfer raises questions about how artists and art spaces can adapt to changing environmental and mental conditions, in order to reshape our relationship with landscapes.


Saturday, September 30, 20:00
Hermoupolis Heritage
16, Iroon Politechniou St.
The screening, co-organized by Hermoupolis Heritage, includes a discussion and Q&A, and will be followed by a reception.
Films are subtitled in both Greek and English. 

Elke Marhofer
Becoming Extinct (Wild Grass)
Russia, 2017, 23′

The film and research project is an exploration of ecologies of extinction and collaborative survival in the Southern Russian steppes, close to the current Russian–Ukrainian war zone and the exploded Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The two concepts of extinction and becoming are difficult to think about together; both are more than just a metaphor and none of them offers an easy way out. The film speculates about more-than-human relationalities, attempting to stimulate an environmentally attuned mode of acting in a damaged world.

Marianne Fahmy
Magic Carpet Land
Egypt, 2020, 11′

A film inspired by the diaries of an Egyptian oceanographer in the 1930 torn between his fascination with the West and his pride in his oriental background, who was part of a British scientific expedition that took place on the first scientific research vessel in Egypt. Throughout the oceanographer’s journey he recalls historical events and memories that reflect social and political struggles of that time, raising questions of nationalism and identity, while envisioning the dream of a nomadic land that the vessel resembles.

Latent Community
Greece/Italy, 2019, 24′

Four female voices interweave a polyphonic narration of the story of Katër i Radës, the first boat that sank in a naval blockade against migration flows. The film follows the relatives of the victims performing a voyage by crossing the Mediterranean Sea following the same route, to ask questions ignored by the media and the court.

“Communities Between Islands” is a Creative Europe project funded by the European Commission, and realized with the support of the Goethe-Institut Athen.

Explore more about Communities Between Islands here.