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Teresa Fiore

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823274321

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823274321.001.0001

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Overlapping Mediterranean Routes in Marra’s Sailing Home, Ragusa’s The Skin Between Us, and Tekle’s Libera

Overlapping Mediterranean Routes in Marra’s Sailing Home, Ragusa’s The Skin Between Us, and Tekle’s Libera

Chapter:
(p.50) Two Overlapping Mediterranean Routes in Marra’s Sailing Home, Ragusa’s The Skin Between Us, and Tekle’s Libera
Source:
Pre-Occupied Spaces
Author(s):

Teresa Fiore

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823274321.003.0004

In adopting a more overt emigration-immigration parallel, this chapter connects cultural texts focusing on the Mediterranean Sea, and in particular the Channel of Sicily for its bridging and dividing function between the European and the African continents. In the cultural melting pot of the Mediterranean basin, this chapter identifies less a place of fluid encounters and exchanges than one of tensions, struggled-for opportunities, and even mortal dangers. The blurring of emigrant and immigrant desires and failures in Vincenzo Marra’s 2001 film Tornando a casa (Sailing Home), the coexistence of painful legacies of emigration and slavery in Kym Ragusa’s 2006 memoir The Skin Between Us: A Memoir of Race, Beauty and Belonging, and the survival-driven urge to flee Northern Africa for the post-colonial subject in Feven Abreha Tekle’s 2005 as-told-to self-narrative Libera are all staged, either partially or fully, in a Mediterranean that functions as a pre-occupied space. Occupied by previous stories of demographic and cultural movements, this sea now hosts new concerns over economic stability, human rights protection, and racial tolerance, as well as new possibilities. Geographer Edward Soja’s concept of “Thirdspace,” developed off of Henri Lefebvre’s space trialectics, is adopted to recognize the transformative power of international waters over national identities.

Keywords:   Libera, Vincenzo Marra, Kym Ragusa, Edward Soja, Feven Abreha Tekle, Thirdspace

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