MEDMACH is funded by the European Research Council (ERC), 2023-2028.

The aim of MEDMACH is to consider, analyze and discuss entangled histories of the Mediterranean after 1800 through images of movement: infrastructures and machineries of acceleration such as airports, train stations, motorway bridges, industrial ports, and engine-driven ships. These sites are often overlooked in overarching narratives of the region. The Mediterranean after 1800 typically appears either in decline or romanticized, therefore this ‘machinery room’ has never been at the center of attention. However, these sites of movement are connected to all the aspects which make the Mediterranean an emotive, politically relevant place today: migration, colonization and decolonization, the relation between Europe and the Islamic world, environmental and economic crisis. Conceptualizing the modern and contemporary Mediterranean through its ‘machinery rooms’ of movement will provide a basis for a differentiated, yet connective history. This history will be based on images and image archives: After 1800, images are increasingly made for distribution and circulation. They are thus entangled with the ambivalent notions of movement and acceleration. They are also ideal carriers of transnational and transregional knowledge. MEDMACH will work with a visual approach to establish a new, systemic historical understanding which is urgently needed in current debates on travel, transit, migration, environment, and cultural encounter.

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