On Sunday, October 8, 2017, the pre-Manifesto for Mediterranean Citizenship has been launched in Messina, on the occasion of the closing ceremony of SABIRFEST 2017. This is a pamphlet written by a group of militants – intellectuals, activists, artists and researchers – from different social and cultural backgrounds and nations around the Mediterranean, who believe that the Mediterranean is our common destiny.
The pamphlet intends to counter-face the dominant narrative which depicts the Mediterranean as a border, a “No Man’s Land”, as a factory of conflicts, threats and crises, and therefore as a problem to be removed. The pre-Manifesto for Mediterranean Citizenship calls for a citizens-driven project for political, social and economic integration in the region, built upon the cultural diversity that characterises its peoples.
Learning from the lessons of the most recent revolutions and social protests in the region, whose platforms are based on the 2008 anti-austerity mobilization and on the claims of the squares of 2011, and inspired by the 1941 Manifesto of Ventotene, written by a group of anti-fascist militants and intellectuals, whose objective was a free and united Europe, the pre-Manifesto looks at a free and united Mediterranean, a Mediterranean of freedoms and rights. It defines the region as a ius commune that constitutes the cornerstone of a new practice of citizenship, where all citizens of the region are called on to protect and share the Mediterranean as a “common good”, and are committed to the revival of its cosmopolitism.
The document, which has been discussed on several occasions during SABIRFEST 2017, includes 11 theses.
The pre-Manifesto is the result of three years of encounters and debates promoted by the so-called SABIRMAYDANcommunity, and hosted by SABIRFEST Mediterranean culture and citizenship and the World Social Forum. After the launch, a regional public consultation will be launched, and a series of meetings and initiatives promoted, aiming at producing a more elaborate, frank and advocacy-related paper, what we would name the “Manifesto for Mediterranean Citizenship”.
The editorial committee is composed of: Fatima AL-IDRISSI, Said BAKKALY, Debora DEL PISTOIA, Mohamed LEGHTAS, Lidia LO SCHIAVO, Gianluca SOLERA, Igor STIKS, Nagwan AL-ASHWAL, and Kais ZRIBA.
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