Rich in history and blessed with a pleasant climat, the Mediterranean is the most popular tourist destination in the world. Over 200 million tourists flock to the Mediterranean beaches every year, putting great pressure on its natural scenery. At the same time the Med functions as an unintentional castle-moat around Fortress Europe. Despite the danger, thousands of desperate immigrants from Africa and Asia continuously attempt to cross the water in shabby boats.
From 2010 to 2014, I travelled – says Nick Hannes – the length and breadth of the Mediterranean shores, documenting various contemporary issues such as tourism, urbanization and migration in 20 different countries. While I was working on this project, the region continuously hit the headlines: crisis in Greece, the Arab Spring, boat refugees on Lampedusa, wars in Libya, Syria, and Gaza.
Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man is a caleidoscopic documentary portrait of the region that is often considered to be the cradle of civilisation. In my photographic work I try to capture the paradoxes of this region and the spirit of the time. The Mediterranean region has many faces. I hope these images can help to put things into perspective.
“Here, at this crossroads of space and time, where the ancient sea indifferently links or divides people; here, just like in Nick Hannes’ photos, people are coincidental passers-by in the unscrupulous, ever repeating spectacle that we call ‘History’.” (Michael De Cock)
Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man was launched at the Antwerp FotoMuseum in 2014. It has been exhibited at Cosmos Galery in Paris (2014) and at the 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (2015). The book is published by Hannibal Veurne.
“The Pacific may have the most changeless ageless aspect of any ocean, but the Mediterranean Sea celebrates the continuity of man.” (Ernle Bradford)