Utopia 2016 Anniversary Events
The Oxygen of the Future
A Mediterraneanist Utopia
8th February 2017, Faculty of Arts Library, 6.00pm
In collaboration with the Department of Maltese
The film of this talk is available here.
This talk, which is being held on the 80th anniversary, to the day, of Albert Camus’s speech at the inauguration of the Maison de la Culture in Algiers in 1937, is about utopian narratives of Mediterranean unity. The roots of Camus’s vision, steeped in “benign” French colonialism, lie in the ideas of the early 19th century utopian socialist Claude-Henri Saint-Simon and the writings of Gabriel Audisio, founder of the École d’Alger. This talk also focuses on the ideals of”Mediterranean synthesis” and “Mediterranean humanism” that the pied-noir of Gozitan origin, LaurentRopa, inspired by figures like Audisio and Robert Randau, wrote about passionately in Melita, the paper of the Maltese North African diaspora. Does this Mediterraneanist utopia, which Audisio saw as “the oxygen of the future” and inspired Camus’s inaugural speech, have anything to say to us today, in an increasing cynical and xenophobic world?
See also: “A Mediterraneanist Utopia” (The Times of Malta, Wednesday, February 8, 2017)