April 7, 2021 - Villa Romana - Launch of The Broken Archive
April 7, 2021

Villa Romana

The Broken Archive (screenshot), 2021.

Launch of The Broken Archive

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The Broken Archive brings together artistic projects that investigate the history of and present-day life in the Mediterranean region. The Broken Archive is an attempt to restore a future in which the sea acts as a medium of transmission capable of generating shared depth and a wide range of different relationships.

The archive is “broken” because the region’s cultural wealth is barely perceived anymore. For centuries, the Mediterranean was ruled by the vast Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Europe’s colonial powers carved up the southern coastal stretch among themselves. In later years, it became a battleground of the Cold War and the interests of the global oil industry. Hardly any other region in the world is as rich in cultural influence, past legacy, and narrative. Today, however, the Mediterranean region serves as a buffer zone between the world’s so-called comfort and conflict zones; for tens of thousands of people trying to migrate north, it has become a grave.

The Broken Archive seeks to create rhizomatic references across the transcontinental Mediterranean region. Various artistic media emerge like archipelagos in search of community, resonance, connection. A variety of artistic projects is organized into twelve cluster terms. These projects are presented with images, texts, PDFs, and films or trailers on the corresponding artists’ pages. Keywords and a search function offer additional orientation and a range of references.

The Broken Archive’s aim is to function as an archive of possibility, a tool that can be used to explore, collect, connect, and discuss. It is designed not as a canonical archive, but as an open, variable, dense network.

The Broken Archive is a project curated by the Villa Romana team. As a starting point, it brings together the numerous projects that have been carried out here in recent years. The intention is to develop it in a dynamic and interactive manner and offer a common platform to many other artists and projects to come.

Only thanks to the dedicated support of and in collaboration with HKW Berlin in the framework of The Whole Life: An Archive Project, The Broken Archive could be realised. In addition to the new website, four online conferences were created, which can be accessed both on hkw.de and on brokenarchive.org.

Villa Romana
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