Installation exploring contemporary migration

From the Maltese islands to Sicily and Tunisia, the project contemplates the routes of the Mediterranean.

Anne Immelé’s project Melita, מלט −mlṭ, refuge started in Malta during her visits in different caves throughout the islands, coming across traces of Phoenician civilisations in the wider contemporary context of an active migratory crisis. Since ancient times, human beings have sought refuge as a critical component for survival. The notion of refuge is especially anchored culturally in the history of Malta, whose Catholicity is also rooted in the biblical tale of Saint Paul’s shipwreck and his finding shelter in a cave on the island.

From the Maltese islands, Immelé travels to Sicily and Tunisia to contemplate contemporary migratory routes across the Mediterranean Sea, engaging in a poetic association with the voyages of the Phoenicians in antiquity. The Phoenicians, merchant conquerors who established base in various Mediterranean civilisations, have established a documented network of routes throughout this body of water between 1200 – 300 BC.

The installation suggests an array of polyphonic stories interfacing disparate voices and routes in the Mediterranean space and time. This juxtaposition of ancient routes of commercial conquest with contemporary migratory ones brings forth poignant shared narratives, enabling also fresh perspectives of the present. Her photos are rooted in the geo-political complexity of the contemporary migrant condition but distinguish themselves from a work of reportage by inviting a broader temporal and geographical perspective. As a body of work in its totality, Melita then effectively proposes its own personal, political and poetic trajectory.

Anne Immelé photographed Maltese Phoenician caves, punic temple remains, punic archeological sites such as Mozia Island (Sicily), Kerkouane and Carthage (Tunisia). She highlights their mineral characteristics, evoking their timelessness. In echo, her portraits of sub-Saharan refugees convey the ephemerality of human life’s moments and life paths.

Anne Immelé is a photographer and exhibition curator based in Mulhouse, France. Her photographs examine the myriad of dimensions to our relationship with the territory: geographical, human and social, as well as memorial and poetic. It is through editing and display that her images enter into dialogue with each other, creating a ground for confrontation. While her photographic output is exhibited regularly on an international level, she also teaches at the HEAR (Haute école des arts du Rhin).

The installation runs at Spazju Kreattiv from March 1 to April 7.

Related Posts