Blood in the water : tracing an interspecies alliance between at-risk humans and jellyfish in the Mediterranean
Date of Award
Master of Industrial Design
This thesis seeks to examine the Mediterranean Sea as a space of simultaneous ecological and political resistance to human-induced violence articulated by the concept of the Anthropocene. In one capacity, the Mediterranean Sea is the space that connects the extracting impulses of European States to the raw materials and resources of their ‘former’ colonies in Africa and the Middle East. Despite being divided in relation to national interests, the Sea defies the easy legibility of such bordering practices, and exemplifies a “vast, complex expanse” that contains many of the contradictions of national and regional interests that are pursued in isolation from broader ecological and political considerations.
In his seminal work on the Mediterranean, Fernand Braudel defines three coexisting temporalities to read the landscape of the sea.i The first and slowest is environmental and geographical time pertaining to repetitive and almost imperceptible change. The second comprises long-term social and economic changes, spanning centuries. As for the third and shortest one, “the time of surfaces,” it is that of “events, politics, and people.”
Despite never being addressed synchronously, recent reports from the Mediterranean region suggest a sharp increase in jellyfish population in the water and the migration of humans across its surface. In this context, new narrative forms are required to recast dominant ones, and to expose and connect these types of ecological “slow violence”ii with ones that are more immediately and visibly occurring within the same space. Through the use and appropriation of information, text, images, and representation, and towards the pursuit of justice and dignity for all species involved, this project proposes the possibility of an interspecies alliance between at-risk humans and jellyfish in the Mediterranean Sea.
Tannir, Ala, "Blood in the water : tracing an interspecies alliance between at-risk humans and jellyfish in the Mediterranean" (2017). Masters Theses. 136.
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