Fully-illustrated, The Passenger collects the best new writing, photography, art and reportage from around the world.
IN THIS VOLUME: The Sea Between Lands by David Abulalfia; The Liquid Road by Leïla Slimani; The Cold One, the Hot One, the Mad One, and the Angry One by Nick Hunt • plus: the sounds and smells of the Mediterranean; the ceaseless hunt for tuna; the invention of the Mediterranean diet; and much more…
The word “Mediterranean” has always evoked something larger than geography. For millennia, it has designated a distinct cultural and historical space, one where different peoples have met, traded, and—not infrequently—clashed. Starting from its Latin etymology (“in the middle of the Earth”), the Mediterranean is intimately connected with ideas of connection, exchange, and multiplicity.
Today, however, the Mediterranean appears to be in crisis. Neglected by the European Union—which often sees North Africa and the Middle East as a threat, or at best as a source of energy—the Mediterranean is at the center of one of the greatest migrations in history. While every year hundreds of millions of vacationers flock to its shores, as in a distorting mirror hundreds of thousands of people face a dramatic journey in the opposite direction—to escape wars, persecutions, and poverty. The liquid road, as Homer called it, is increasingly militarized, trafficked, and polluted—as well as overheated and overfished.
This volume of The Passenger dives deep into the complex issues and contradictions facing the Mediterranean. As the book shows, despite its problems, the Mediterranean remains a source of wonder and fascination—a space not entirely colonized by modernity, where time flows differently, and where multiple cultures and languages are in closer contact and dialogue than elsewhere.