On Wednesday 8 February 2017, at 18:00, Dr Adrian Grima will give a public talk entitled 'The Oxygen of the Future. A Mediterraneanist Utopia'. The event is part of the Utopia Anniversary Events Series and is open to the general public. The talk is being held in the Faculty of Arts Library (Old Humanities Building), University of Malta Msida Campus, and is organised in collaboration with the Department of Maltese.
This talk, which is being held on the 80th anniversary, to the day, of Albert Camus’s speech at the inauguration of the Maison de la Culture in Algiers in 1937, is about utopian narratives of Mediterranean unity. The roots of Camus's vision, steeped in 'benign' French colonialism, lie in the ideas of the early 19th century utopian socialist Claude-Henri Saint-Simon and the writings of Gabriel Audisio, founder of the École d'Alger. This talk also focuses on the ideals of 'Mediterranean synthesis' and 'Mediterranean humanism' that the pied-noir of Gozitan origin, Laurent Ropa, inspired by figures like Audisio and Robert Randau, wrote about passionately in Melita, the paper of the Maltese North African diaspora. Does this Mediterraneanist utopia, which Audisio saw as 'the oxygen of the future' and inspired Camus's inaugural speech, have anything to say to us today, in an increasing cynical and xenophobic world?