The project From the Shores of Tripoli to the Hills of Moctezuma takes its inspiration from the science-fiction novel ‘Il prosciugamento del Mediterraneo’ written in 1932, in which the authors, Motta and Ciancimino, imagined the draining of the Mediterranean sea, whereas the lowering the sea level would have brought the shores of Northern Africa and Sicily closer. Such a fantastic vision portrayed by the two Italian writers in fact was at the center of a project, Atlantropia, presented a few years earlier by a German architect, Hermann Sorgel, that imagined the possibility of gaining wide plains from the sea, with the purpose of creating a new common space between Europe and Africa and enabling the colonisation of the latter. This scenario, would have paradoxically made it possible for people to walk along the routes that are nowadays followed by boat.
By means of a rich archival research work, A4C unveils the facets of History, bringing its paradoxes to the surface. The display of copies of original documents brings an unexpected past to the audience’s attention: the existence of a Mediterranean passport, issued by the United States and the United Kingdom crown between the 17 and 19th centuries after negotiations with Muslim pirates, to protect their merchant vessels, goods and crews from their attacks. Rethinking the idea of a Mediterranean Passport today to enable the free circulation of people is significant in a context of free circulation limited to goods.