Debatable Land(s)

Islandness | Kathrin Schoedel, JD Farrugia, Adrian Grima, Fatima Amn, moderator Maren Richter | 19th April 2021

Debatable Land(s) Performative Debates | On April 19, 2021, I took part in a debate facilitated by Maren Richter on “Islandness” with Kathrin Schoedel, JD Farrugia and Fatima Amn.

Debatable Land(s) is the latest chapter of the long-term, research-based art project Fleeting Territories, resulting from the project Mapping Malta I- II, which took place in 2018. In the connection of the two actually opposing terms “fleeting” and “territory”, the Fleeting Territories project series see spatial coordinates not simply as stable or fixed values, but rather as aiding in the identification and negotiation of [in]visible mechanisms, which in turn organise and shape cities, land[scapes], human and more-than-human interconnections. Rights, laws, politics, and economies, as well as emotions play a central role in the appropriation of territories.

By forming temporary collectives and performative forums, Fleeting Territories ask questionssuch as which materialities and regimes of spatial concepts can be identified, and which artistic tools can be employed to measure and experience them.Performative Debates

During a series of performative debates, experts from different fields were invited to question definitions of borders, physical and non-physical boundaries, and to consider the definition of a ‘debatable’ land.


Islandomania/Tourism, Islandphobia/’lawlessness, Islandphilia/Corruption, Islandism(outsourcing problems), Post-Islandism (sourcing problems), Islandification (paradise). Counter-islandness(migration). Agoraphobia, claustrophobia, acrophobia

Deserted Island, Financial hub, piracy, ‘lawlessness’, paradise (tourism), prison, utopia, outsourcing problems. The ideas and concepts of Island ranges from a physical space, a metaphor and a psychological state. How can we connect (to physical space) and disconnect (with old patterns or systems) and rather use ‘ISLAND’ as a powerful device for e.g caring, curing, (dis)comforting? Selected writings on islands reveal the island variously to be both real and imaginary, mythological and scientific, but as most problematic when constituted in political terms as a sovereign entity. Humans tend to reproduce what they know (“Robinson Crusoe Syndrome”)- a linear thinking of time and space. In order to live WITH the island in symbiosis an entire new set of relationships would be needed, as it seems. A cohabitant model of living eg. 

What would change if we look at the land from the sea’s perspective or land as a storage of memory like in indigenous cultures?. And why do phobias connected to the fear of space exist? Do we need to relearn our relationship to space/nature/the elements? How does land look like in this scenario in which land is not a commodification any longer?


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