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 Waters, MEDITERRANEA 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).

Mediterranea 19 Young Artists Biennale School of Waters

Exhibitions open until October 31, 2021

To book a visit to the Biennale, it is mandatory to contact one of the following numbers:
Galleria Nazionale San Marino/National Gallery
(all days from 9 am to 5 pm)
+378 0549 888241
+378 0549 888244 
+378 0549 888245 

Mediterranea 19 Young Artists Biennale | School of Waters | VIDEO TEASER

Background image Marianne Fahmy What things may come, 2019, HD video, 13:00 min, Courtesy of the artist


Moreover, a special section, called “Writing in Waters”, will involve the following fellows:

Chiara Giardi (SM)
Andrea Glez (SP)
Chiara Guiducci-Lucrezia Faraci- Alessia Valgimigli (SM)
Julia Nicolau (SP)
Valentina Toccaceli (SM)
N.O.A. (Ana Marina Lozica – Nunzia Ponsillo-Oliver Vicenzi) (SM)
Isabel Rosado Prieto (SP)
Javier Aranda Segado (SP)
Emma Vernhes (SP)

Writing in waters is the educational program that will take place in San Marino during the Biennale, aiming to challenge concepts of knowledge production, processes of unlearning and question fluxes of information. The planned activities will create opportunities for the development of practices and exchange among young creatives. More information to follow.

Republic of San Marino, multiple locations
15 May – 31 October 2021
Opening: Friday 14 May 2021, from 5.00 p.m.

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Mediterranea 19 Young Artists Biennale School of Waters


Video created by Massimo Salvucci, in collaboration with the Ministry for Education and Culture of the Republic of San Marino, the Cultural Institutes of the Republic of San Marino, the University of the Republic of San Marino, and BJCEM.

BJCEM Network

The international BJCEM association – Biennale des jeunes créateurs de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée – is an international network founded in Sarajevo in July 2001 that now has 47 members and partners from 16 European and Mediterranean countries. The association is registered in Brussels and has an operative office at the Cortile del Maglio, in Turin. The network includes civil society organisations and local, regional and national authorities in Europe and the Mediterranean basin and is also a member of the Anna Lindh Foundation and of Culture Action Europe.

BJCEM’s work focuses on promoting and valorising intercultural dialogue and contemporary artistic research in a wide variety of expressive idioms; it also offers support to young people’s creativity, mobility and meetings between young artists on all the coasts of the Mediterranean. BJCEM is tireless in defence of the role that art and culture can play in society, enabling young people to discover and learn the values of other cultures as a means to enrich their own. Art is a tool that can be used to overcome borders, barriers and conflicts: it does not need us all to speak the same language because its own language is universal.

The Republic of San Marino has been taking part in the Biennale of Young European and Mediterranean Artists since 1992, promoting its own artists and running numerous international projects inside the BJCEM network, such as Sanmarinosarajevo 2001 . 2002, /ti’tano/ in 2012 and the first two editions of A Natural Oasis?, starting in 2014.

San Marino’s cultural institutions are the State Archive, the National Library and Library Heritage, the Performing Arts Division and the State Museums (the State Museum itself, the San Francesco Painting Gallery, the Historical Armoury Museum and the National Gallery).

The San Marino National Gallery was inaugurated on 7 July 2018, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of San Marino’s registration in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and concentrates on San Marino and international visual arts from the Second World War to the present day.

The University of San Marino, established in 1985 on the basis of a proposal made by Umberto Eco and Renato Zangheri, now numbers three Departments, two research doctorates, numerous masters and high-level training courses and four degree courses in Digital Media, Management Engineering, Civil Engineering and Design.

Mediterranea 19 Young Artists Biennale School of Waters