Work title: THE GATTOPARDO`S WALL (0000801584)
The Gattopardo (`The Leopard` in English version) is a well known Italian novel concerning the changes of Sicily life during the Risorgimento time, in South of Italy. Its author is Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896-1957), a Sicilian writer, son of the Prince a small island on the South of Sicily: Lampedusa
This wonderful small island (20,2 km²) is the Southest point of Italy; politically and administratively it is Italian soil but geographically it belongs to Africa. Indeed it is closer to Tunisia (113 kilometres) than to Sicily ( 205 kilometres) and , with its latitude of 35°30'' N, Lampedusa is South of both Tunisi and Algeri. Moreover until the 1994, the island hosted a USA military base because of its strategic position inside the Mediterranean Sea.
Nowadays this African, European-Italian, ex-USA military base is, thanks to its geographical condition, the entry point to Europe for `illegal immigrants`-as politicians call them- escaping from Africa. The democratic wind of revolution of last months in North Africa (someone called it the African Risorgimento with reference to the Italian Risorgimento as described for instance in `the Gattopardo`) has multiplied the number of refugees arrived to the Giuseppe Tomasi`s island. Since January almost 30.000 immigrants arrived in Lampedusa and many others sank trying to reach the European soil.
The italian Prime Minister Berlusconi has talked about ''a human tsunami'' (1-4-2011), wondering sarcastically even a division from UE in case of negation of helps: ''Accordo UE o e` meglio dividerci` (10-4-2011).
Therefore, I would call the Gattopardo`s border, the both physical and moral line of demarcation between Europe and Africa. A line of ambiguity, of hypocrisy, of promises, of fear, of hopeful,.....of laws, of international agreements or barters…. where a very small island becomes the visible crisis point of the European Community in front of the urgent necessity of a coherent, cultural-moral decision concerning the immigration, the refugees.
The after diagram interprets the Mediterranean with its original meaning, as "in the middle of earth" or "between lands" (from latin medius, "middle, between" + terra, "land, earth"). It is re-considered not any longer as a barrier or a wall but as a threshold, a in-between which mixes different cultures, as it used to be. The ''in-between medi-terrean'' shows this physical continuity of land as a metaphor of a cultural and human isotropic free connection.