Mediterranea 19 Young Artists Biennale

School of Waters

curated by A Natural Oasis? A Transnational Research Programme

MAY 15 – OCTOBER 31 2021
Opening MAY 14 starting at 5 pm

The Mediterranean Biennale, organised by BJCEM – Biennale des Jeunes Créateurs de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée, will present the works of over 70 artists from 21 different countries, hosted for the first time by the Republic of San Marino. The title chosen for the nineteenth edition is School of Waters, imagining the Biennale as a collective platform capable of deconstructing stereotypes derived from the Eurocentric interpretation of the Mediterranean basin.

From 15 May to 31 October 2021, the Republic of San Marino will play host to MEDITERRANEA 19, the Biennale of Young European and Mediterranean Artists
, promoted and organised by BJCEM – Biennale des Jeunes Créateurs de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée, an international association with 47 members and partners in 16 European and Mediterranean counties, in partnership with the Republic San Marino Ministry of Education and Culture, the Cultural Institutions of the Republic of San Marino and the University of the Republic of San Marino.
The eighteen editions since the Biennale first started life in 1985 in Barcelona have been hosted in such cities as Marseille, Valencia, Lisbon, Sarajevo and Athens, while the latest edition was held in the two cities of Tirana and Dürres, in Albania. The list of hosting institutions is no less impressive, taking in the MACRO in Rome, the Nottingham Contemporary in the UK and the Thessaloniki Museum of Contemporary Art in Greece.
“It is a great honour for the Republic of San Marino to be able to host an important itinerant international event like the Biennale of Young European and Mediterranean Artists”, states Andrea Belluzzi, Minister for Education and Culture of the Republic of San Marino. “50 years after it organised the International Art Biennale from 1956 to 1967, our land will once again be the focus of the cultural scene. We need to encourage the cultural output of young artists and facilitate and develop a cultural dynamic that we share with the other countries of Europe and the Mediterranean”.
“Mediterranea 19 will build reciprocal bridges between the two leading ideal horizons where our political future is destined to be forged: the European project and its evolution in the Mediterranean”, continues Andrea Belluzzi. “And it will do so using the universal language of art, as though it were also a sea: a crossroads of cultures, creativity, of stories and of life. As chance would have it, Mediterranea 19 coincides with the inauguration in San Marino of the International Study Centre of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean. But chance is also our destiny, encouraging us to take the plunge and swim in this great sea that gave birth to our civilisation. To transform it from a Mare Nostrum into a Mare Comunum”.
With its title School of WatersMEDITERRANEA 19 Young Artists Biennale will unfold in several spaces in the historical nucleus of San Marino, some in the National Gallery and others elsewhere, such as the First Tower – the republic’s original fortification atop Monte Titano, the Pianello Cisterns – a large mediaeval space located underneath the floor of the Public Palace, and the Old Convent of Santa Chiara, which now houses the University of San Marino.
The Biennale will present works, site-specific installations, films, videos and performances by more than 70 artists from the Mediterranean area, from Italy to Tunisia, from Spain to Montenegro, from France to Jordan and from Malta to Lebanon, with the aim of employing the common heritage of these shared waters as a starting point for overcoming nationalisms and rediscovering the Mediterranean as a complex platform of lifeforms and processes of knowledge.
The curatorial team has envisaged the Biennale as a temporary school, inspired by radical, experimental teaching methods and by how they challenge artistic, curatorial and research formats. Seen in this light, School of Waters acts as a collective tool for deconstructing the stereotypes that manipulate our geographical imaginings, especially the ones closest to the Eurocentric interpretation of the Mediterranean basin.
MEDITERRANEA 19 is curated by an international scientific committee comprising the founders and participants of the third edition of A Natural Oasis?, a training and research programme supported by BJCEM, directed since 2015 by Alessandro Castiglioni and Simone Frangi and open to curators, artists and cultural research under 34.
In addition to Castiglioni and Frangi (Senior Curators), the members of the Biennale’s curatorial board are Theodoulos Polyviou (Cyprus/UK), Denise Araouzou (Cyprus/Italy), Panos Giannikopoulos (Greece), Angeliki Tzortzakaki (Greece/Netherlands), Nicolas Vamvouklis (Greece/Italy), Giulia Gregnanin (San Marino/UK) and Giulia Colletti (Italy/UK).
The Biennale will be opened to the public on Friday 14 May 2021, in the presence of the institutions involved and of representatives of artists, BJCEM members and curators. The agenda, which will continue for the entire following week, will also include talksperformances and screenings, which will also be available in live streaming. A second appointment, this time with a greater focus on the performing arts, will be held in July 2021.
The opening will also be the occasion for the presentation of a book of research devoted to School of Waters, published by Archive Books of Berlin.

Other activities

BJCEM is proud to be part of the DEAR community with #FoodWave, a project that will bring together and enable young people from 17 countries to raise their voice for food and #climatejustice. In particular BJCEM will launch a visual art contest for young activists, in the third year of the project.
Food Wave has the aim to create awareness on sustainable ways to consume and produce food for climate change mitigation and activate young people in their cities, in order to enable them to influence institutional decisions, so they can lead us to a sustainable global food system by 2030. The project is co-funded by the EU and promoted by the Municipality of Milan together with ActionAid Italia, ACRA, Mani Tese and 25 project partners in 17 countries. The network consists of 14 cities, 5 municipal agencies and 6 civil society organizations closely linked with the cities. C40, the international network of cities engaged in the fight against climate change, is also affiliated to the project.
The first Food Wave call for proposals is now open!
If you are a small youth-led civil society organization you can receive up to €3000 in support for communication, education, or campaigning activities
Apply now through your association! For more information visit ->

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