Graphic concept by Theodoulos Polyviou

October 22nd 2020 – February 28th 2021
Opening days October 22-25, 2020

Republic of San Marino

Mediterranea 19
Young Artists Biennale

School of Waters

curated by A Natural Oasis? A Transnational Research Programme

Open call for participants

Deadline January 26th 8pm – Italian time



BJCEM, the State Secretariat for Education and Culture of the Republic of San Marino, the Cultural Institutes of the Republic of San Marino and the University of the Republic of San Marino, announce the launch of MEDITERRANEA 19 Young Artists Biennale, a transnational Biennale, which will take place in the Republic of San Marino from October 2020 to February 2021 under the title School of Waters.
MEDITERRANEA 19 – School of Waters is dedicated to artists, writers and researchers under 35 (born from January 1st 1984) coming from or based within a constellation of territories related to the Mediterranean Sea. In this geopolitical frame, MEDITERRANEA 19 – School of Waters aims to reflect on exchanges and hybridizations as well as on crossed diasporas in the Mediterranean globalized space.
Founded in 1985 as a nomadic platform, the Biennale, is organized by BJCEM – Biennale des Jeunes Créateurs de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée. Throughout its history, it crossed the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Marseille, to Sarajevo, Rome, Athens and Tirana. In this perspective it has supported thousands of artists from more than 30 different countries over the course of his eighteen editions and thirty years, a mission confirmed and intensified with this edition. Each edition of the Biennale is therefore revealed with an opportunity for deepening, meeting, mobility, exchange and knowledge.
BJCEM is an international association with more than 50 affiliated members and partners in Europe, Asia and Africa, which join forces to make the Biennale possible and ensure the participation of emerging practitioners coming from or based in the Mediterranean territories in which they operate. The aim of this network is also to create pre-biennale opportunities for young cultural professionals to foster their mobility in the Mediterranean, through the participation to crossed exchanges, collaborative projects, training and research programs.
Disseminated in different venues in the Republic of San Marino, MEDITERRANEA 19 is curated by the participants to the third edition of A Natural Oasis? A Transnational Research Programme (2018-2020):

Senior Curators
Alessandro Castiglioni, Italy; Simone Frangi, Italy/France (founders and directors of A Natural Oasis?);

Curatorial Board
Theodoulos Polyviou, Cyprus/UK; Denise Araouzou, Cyprus/Spain; Panos Giannikopoulos, Greece; Angeliki Tzortzakaki, Greece/Netherlands; Nicolas Vamvouklis, Greece/Italy; Giulia Gregnanin, San Marino/UK; Giulia Colletti, Italy/UK (Research Fellows of A Natural Oasis? 2018-2020)

All the participants of MEDITERRANEA 19 – School of Waters will be selected by the curatorial team through an Open Call.

The Biennale will take place in public institutions and venues of San Marino Republic, including: Cisterns of “Pianello”; Cultural Institutes of San Marino: National Gallery of San Marino; Titano Theatre; San Francesco Museum; Rocca Guaita (First Tower); Museum of Natural History; University of the Republic of San Marino/Ancient Monastery of Santa Chiara; Permanent Study Center on Emigration-Emigrant Museum of the Republic of San Marino; Embassy of Italy in San Marino; Tower of the Gate of San Francesco; Former Railway Tunnel “Il Montale”; Former Railway Tunnel of Borgo Maggiore; City Council Hall of Borgo Maggiore; Concordia Theatre; Music Institute/Sant’Anna Church, amongst others.


If we think of the whole operation of a school as a performance, how does that change the ways we teach and learn, or what we think of as knowledge? […] Looking to performances themselves as sites of knowledge, […] we might engage with the public in critically reflecting on and imagining what a school can do and be.

— Lauren Bakst, School of Temporary Liveness
University of the Arts School of Dance, 2019

The waters that we comprise are never neutral; their flows are directed by intensities of power and empowerment. […] Water’s transits are neither necessarily benevolent, nor are they necessarily dangerous. They are rather material maps of our multivalent forms of marginality and belonging.

— Astrida Neimanis, Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology, 2017

MEDITERRANEA 19 – School of Waters imagines a biennale as a temporary school inspired by radical and experimental pedagogies and the way they challenge artistic, curatorial, and research formats. From this standpoint, School of Waters acts as a collective tool to defamiliarise stereotypes that manipulate our geographical imaginaries, especially those linked to the eurocentric interpretation of the Mediterranean area.
Acknowledging that humans have the ability to gather, create a community and exchange information, through gossip, storytelling and speaking about things that do not exist, MEDITERRANEA 19 redirects its attention to arguments against human exceptionalism and aims to reconfigure the notion of learning through commoning knowledges present within non/human and human structures.
School of Waters revolves around a critical rethinking of the material and symbolic agency of waters from a geopolitical and deep-ecology perspective. The desire to learn from waters reveals ways to un-train nationalisms and rediscover watery syncretism that constituted the Mediterranean as a complex platform of life forms and knowing processes. The curatorial team develops MEDITERRANEA 19 as an ecology of practices, trickling through various spaces in resonance with the specificity of a small state such as the Republic of San Marino.
This curatorial concept operates on a metaphorical and on a structural level. As Lisa Robertson suggests, “biting hair, writing in water, naming god, shaking cloth—the gesture is erased at the instant of its inscription, erased by the livid autonomy of its elemental support” (“On Water. A Proposition”, Tamawuj, Sharjah Biennial 13, 2018). In fact, the impossible act of writing in water is the core of an imagined school where water as a sentient entity is both amenable and resistant to cognitive taming.
Oceans, seas, ice caps, glaciers, lakes, rivers, aquifers, ponds, snow, rain are fluid, they melt, condense, evaporate and are able to traverse and appear in different states. These water formations suggest the possibility of reshaping the understanding of static identities and sense of belonging in the Mediterranean, starting not from the lands but from its waters.


The call is open to artists, writers and researchers, from 18 to 35 years old (born from January 1st 1984), coming from or based in the following territories: Albania, Algeria, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Nordic region – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Faroe Islands –, Palestine, Republic of San Marino, Serbia, Syria, Slovenia, Tunisia, Turkey, UK.
The Call is open to everybody, regardless of gender, religion, social and political behaviours.
There are no submission fees.
Artists who have participated in more than one previous edition of the Biennale of young artists cannot apply.


All interested applicants are asked to submit one PDF (a free program to merge PDF in one file can be found here) including:

  • application form (download the application form here)
  • complete CV
  • portfolio (updated to 2019)
  • statement
  • a proposal of 400 words max and visual material responding to the curatorial concept of School of Waters (links to YouTube and Vimeo can be included)

Applications must be written in English and submitted by January 26th 2020, 8pm Italian time. Applications received after the deadline, or written in a language other than English, will not be considered.

Important additional information:

  • The application can be sent ONLY via email (attachments up to 25 MB), directly to BJCEM at:
  • The subject of the email should read: “MED19_Name_Surname”
  • The curatorial team is in charge of the selection of the participants in accordance to an agreement with each BJCEM member. For more information, please refer to the list of members on BJCEM website
  • Selected participants will be hosted in San Marino during the Opening Days (October 22-25, 2020). Their travels will be covered by BJCEM members, up to a maximum amount that will be discussed between the reference BJCEM member and the selected artist, while their accommodation, in shared rooms, will be covered by the hosting country.
  • BJCEM members will take care of artworks shipment and insurance, up to a maximum amount that will be discussed between the reference BJCEM member and the selected artist. The hosting country will take care of the installation of the works, their preservation and monitoring in the venues of the Biennale. Works will be on view throughout the whole duration of the Biennale.
  • Live works will be programmed during the Opening Days (October 22-25, 2020). The hosting country will provide fully equipped venues.
  • Please note that no fee can be provided to the selected participants.

The selection of participants will be carried out by the curators of the Biennale. The decisions of the curators are final and not subject to appeal, and they will be documented in a report.
The names of the selected participants will be published on BJCEM website no later than February 2020.


The submission of the application automatically implies the full acceptance of the present regulations and the approval of reproduction of the pictures, visual and video of the selected works in the communication and promotional materials related to the event or the artists.


Participants agree to the non-exclusive right of BJCEM to publish and reproduce images, videos, texts and other forms of documentation of the selected artists and artworks only for promotional and non-commercial use. These reproductions will be promoted under the logo of Mediterranea 19 – School of Waters. The present call is governed by the law of the country in which the artists send their application.
For general inquiries please write to: or call: +39 011 19504733

BJCEM is supported by:

Logo comune di Torino
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial