5 de junho de 2023, 16h00 (GMT) | Evento em formato digital

Chiara Denaro (Università di Trento)

Moderação: Maria Elena Indelicato (CES)



Over the past decades, human mobilities and (re)bordering efforts by EU institutions have been fostering a constant re-figuration of the Mediterranean Sea as a public space. Looking at the Central Mediterranean Sea through real-time mapping programs, we can visualize a multiplicity of actors who cross it every day. However, the picture we see when using these programs (Marine Traffic or Vessel Finder are the most well-known examples) is partially incomplete. Military ships, or other assets performing border control or fishery surveillance are invisible, as are those (often unseaworthy) boats that are used by those who have no other option but choosing irregular and risky pathways to exercise the individual right to leave.

Literature on sea-crossings and border management and migration policies has highlighted how the Mediterranean has become a “political space” and a “battleground”, which takes shape along different lines and through interactions of institutional and non-governmental stakeholders as well as individuals. Main friction points concern the (apparently irreducible) conflict between those who prioritize border control, and those who challenge these borders, through transgressive acts of escape, resistance, citizenship.

Keeping as a background the incessant processes of re-figuration and spatial transformation that are ongoing in the Central Mediterranean Sea, this contribution looks at the interlocutions, negotiations and conflicts that take place between State actors, civil society organizations – who are at sea with a multiplicity of approaches and political visions – and people who perform “acts of immediate justice” through the sea.

By focusing on Search and Rescue policies and practices as an increasingly relevant domain, which is often instrumentalized by actors who have migration and border management priorities, the contribution examines the political, cultural and juridical battlegrounds that take shape in the Central Mediterranean, as key components in defining the quality of the sea as a public space.

Nota biográfica

Chiara Denaro is a sociologist (PhD), legal expert, and social worker, working for years with disadvantaged communities, in precarious settlements, squats, detention facilities. She is Postdoctoral Researcher at Università di Trento. Her socio-legal research work concerns search and rescue, asylum and migration policies in the Mediterranean space, border control policies, human rights, right to asylum, as well as the practices and strategies of resistance put in place by people on the move. As part of WatchTheMed Alarm Phone, Chiara focuses on the Central Mediterranean route.


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