Coming from an island (Cyprus), I found myself reflecting upon the practical, symbolic and aesthetic dimensions of water and, specifically, the sea from an early age. Admittedly, to an islander,
Coming from an island (Cyprus), I found myself reflecting upon the practical, symbolic and aesthetic dimensions of water and, specifically, the sea from an early age. Admittedly, to an islander, the liquid element that the sea may imply isolation, remoteness and inaccessibility, especially when one considers the technicalities of mobility. In this light, then, the sea can be seen as nothing less and nothing more than a natural border which limits movement. Contrary to this assumption, the purpose of this presentation is to argue for the symbolic significance of the sea – and of thinking about the sea – in destabilizing the concepts of border and territory rendering them porous and fragile.
To illustrate these ideas, I will draw from Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot prose, poetry and film, which feature the sea and experiences of the sea in relation not only to contexts of conflicts, segregation and borders but also of existential contemplation. A close analysis of these literary, poetic and filmic representations of the sea and its relation to the land will help me outline an alternative understanding of the experience of the sea and of thinking through the sea. This new understanding, which I will call liquid politics, becomes possible only when one (re)considers the significance of the sea as a deterritorialised space of fluidity, openness, outward-looking, encounter and dialogue, but also, inevitably, of danger.
Dr Angelos Evangelou has an interdisciplinary background in English and Comparative Literature, and Literary and Critical Theory (BA, University of Cyprus; MA, University of Essex; PhD, University of Kent). He has been an Associate Lecturer in Comparative Literature at the University of Kent since 2010. His research interests include madness studies in philosophy and literature, border studies, border theory, postcolonial theory and literature (especially of Cyprus and Palestine). His monograph titled “Philosophizing Madness from Nietzsche to Derrida” was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017.
(Thursday) 15:40 - 16:10
B: Studio 1
Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EN