Mattia Insolera: 6th Continent

“The Mediterranean area is the frontier between the North and the South of the world, the bastions around Fortress Europe. A new Iron Curtain that contains people on one side, whilst goods travel freely. Goods travel without restriction in colorful iron boxes, piled over floating iron cities, marked with a code that tells their past and their destiny and works as a permission of free circulation.”

Mattia Insolera

Mattia Insolera‘s series of photographs shows what is happening right now in the Mediterranean region, but it also serves as a reminder of the time when the Mediterranean was not a moat surrounding Europe but a path of flowing knowledge and skills. The Mediterranean united the surrounding civilisations and made the people arriving in this region residents of the Mediterranean, ‘the sixth continent’.

The 6th Continent series is divided into four parts, which Insolera has named ‘Iron’, ‘Land’, ‘Wood’, and ‘Stone’. The ‘Iron’ images examine the relationship between industry and humans. ‘Land’, in turn, focuses on migration and the search for a space to make a living and prosper.

‘Wood’ examines the Mediterranean’s remaining lifestyles in which the lines between producers, middlemen, and consumers are not strictly defined. These photographs feature, for example, wooden ships, men fishing for swordfish by using traditional wooden harpoons, and a Turkish female fishing community. In the ‘Stone’ part of the series, the stones modified by man and nature build stories that are thousands of years old, serving as reminders of the forces of nature, the shifting laws of religions and civilisations, moving borders, and a common history.


PVF 2016
The Finnish Museum of Photography