“Communities Between Islands” is a collaborative initiative involving organizations on three Mediterranean islands: Providenza in Corsica, France; Cherimus in Sardinia, Italy; and Archipelago Network in Syros, Greece. The project aims to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement with local communities through artistic residencies and workshops.
From September 2023 to the end of 2024, nine international artists from diverse disciplines will travel to Corsica, Sardinia, and Syros, spending a total of five weeks in residence. During their stay, the artists will collaborate with local communities, 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.
For the first chapter of the project, the Archipelago Network has invited the artists Marianne Fahmy (1992, Egypt), Latent Community (Sotiris Tsiganos, 1992 and Ionian Bisai, 1992 Greece), and Elke Marhοfer (1967, Cuba) to investigate the contemporary environmental crisis and local realities through time-based media. The four residents start their journey from Corsica, continuing to Sardinia and concluding in Syros; they visit Syros this September, where they will host a series of public workshops and works-in-progress presentations from September 20-30, 2023, in collaboration with the Syros International Film Festival (SIFF). A screening dedicated to the participating artists’ previous work will take place on September 30. The residency program and public presentations in Syros are implemented in collaboration with curator Eva Vaslamatzi.
Communities Between Islands is a Creative Europe project funded by the European Commission.
With the support of the Goethe-Institut Athen.
Laws of the Ruins
During the residency, Marianne Fahmy expands her research on marginalized narratives related to sea and water. Coming from Alexandria, a city that has drowned numerous times throughout history, the artist seeks to address the criticality of the city’s current situation due to climate change. By investigating various water structures both ancient and modern on all the three islands that reflect political and social changes, she aims to question and bring to light different approaches and knowledge systems in order to secure a sustainable future for the islands, while raising historical consciousness about their past existence.
Marianne Fahmy lives in Alexandria, Egypt, and works primarily with installation and film. She deploys past and current narratives into potential futures that oscillate between fiction and reality. Through her video, photography, sculpture, and mixed media works, she takes on the role of a new historicist, using parafiction to deconstruct the social and political issues of the present. Her work has been presented at Sharjah Biennale 2023, 7th Yokohama Triennial (2020), Manifesta 13 (2020), Towner International (2020), Mediterranea 19 Young Artists Biennale (2020), Havana Biennale (2019), and Dakar Biennale (2018), “Alexandria” group show at MUCEM and Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (2022).
On all three islands Latent Community engage in extensive fieldwork and collaboration with local communities, environmental activists, and scientists focusing on how pollution and activities of the tourist, military and maritime industries affect social and ecological equilibriums in unpredictable ways. By listening to diverse voices and rendering images of damaged environments, they aim to map the polyphony of the liquid connections between Corsica, Sardinia and Syros. Their approach lies in repurposing military-developed sonic and image capturing technologies from extractivist surveillance devices into artistic tools for active stewardship and protection of endangered ecosystems and communities.
Latent Community is the interdisciplinary artist duo by visual artists and filmmakers Sotiris Tsiganos and Ionian Bisai. They work with the moving image in research-based projects as a tool to explore issues of social, political and ecological justice. Their interdisciplinary practice integrates extensive fieldwork with relational strategies and performative sequences as means to render forgotten memories, to amplify unheard voices and to explore overlooked ecosystems. Their work has been presented in various forums, including the Athens Biennale (2017), Documenta 14 – Public Programs (2017), Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (2020), Mediterranea 19 (2021), 23rd Sydney Biennale (2022).
Revisiting Practices of Wilderness
Rather than triggering dystopian feelings of shrinkage and fear in the face of a world without fossil fuels, Elke Marhofer aims to explore potentials of space for other-than-fossil-fuel perspectives. During her residency, the artist looks into a not-so-distant past, seeking to rediscover moments of indigenous and/or traditional ecological knowledge in consensus with the environments, such as chestnut culture in Corsica, the foraging of mushrooms and other edibles in Sardinia, and dry-wall farming in Syros. Working with local foragers, farmers, biologists and activists, the project aims to visit distinct vegetation zones on the islands with their variously disturbed environments, explore their current state of resilience and create awareness for the vulnerability of fragile environments.
Elke Marhofer studied Fine Art at SAIC Chicago and ISP Whitney Museum of American Art. Her work investigates ecological practices for human and nonhuman communities. She was awarded a PhD and Postdoc at Kyoto University, Japan. Her films were screened at the Flaherty NYC, Jeu de Paume Paris, Courtisane Ghent, Cinematek Brussels, Stockholm, Toronto & Tokyo, transmediale Berlin, BFI London, Berlinale Berlin, IFFR Rotterdam, Images Festival Toronto, Berlinische Galerie, Showroom London, Kyiv Biennale, Kaohsiung Taipei, Badischer Kunstverein, FCAC Shanghai, MFA Houston.