A few days ago, we wrote about the excitement of being able to follow the Mediterraid Initiative in it’s 16 country tour exploring the influence of virtual communications and connecting locally with urban realities around the Mediterranean.
As a trip of cultural exploration around the Mediterranean basin, an obligated stop is Turkey, which was host to European Capital of Culture and a very intense effort to promote Civil Society Dialogue with the European Union. Nevertheless, one has to have a regard for geopolitics and at this time avoiding unstable eastern Mediterranean political situation made it wise to aim for an alternative route – which made Cyprus very attractive, despite not being in the original plans of travel. And the reality is that if you travel by Car, current links to the mainland are most easy between Turkey and Cyprus. Yes, traditional routes to Greece by Ferry have long been abandoned, and landing on the shores of Kyrenia is the most practical, but only on a map.
The Mediterraid team was to find out that not only could they not cross borders with their vehicle to the Greek part of the island, and even if they had wanted to – they could not have made it out to any other Mediterranean port for an onward journey to the Meditterranean, not even to Greece.
Conclusion: if you want to move across Mediterranean Europe in a web 2.0 style, aside from the challenge of finding an internet connection, you find out that there is a lot of speak about the Union in the Mediterranean, but these have yet to realize the living walls of connectivity and communication.
We live in urban realities that have been tolerated and imposed upon people for a long period of time and while we are at the doorstep of hosting ourselves European Capital of Culture, how do we explain and justify current cultural diplomacy efforts that reinforce our European isolation. We no longer live on a map people.
About the Union
The Union for the Mediterranean is a multilateral partnership with a view to increasing the potential for regional integration and cohesion among Euro-Mediterranan partners. The Union for the Mediterranean is inspired by the shared political will to revitalize efforts to transform the Mediterranean into an area of peace, democracy, cooperation and prosperity.