Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man by Nick Hannes

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.

Izola, Slovenia, October 20, 2010 ©Nick Hannes
Izola, Slovenia, October 20, 2010
©Nick Hannes
Benidorm, Spain, August 14, 2010 ©Nick Hannes
Benidorm, Spain, August 14, 2010
©Nick Hannes
La Manga del Mar Menor, Spain, August 12, 2010 New coastal architecture. Apartments for sale. Real estate. Nick Hannes
La Manga del Mar Menor, Spain, August 12, 2010
New coastal architecture. Apartments for sale. Real estate. Nick Hannes
Bijela, Montenegro, September 18, 2011 Locals relax near a damaged offshore platform at the ship yard of Bijela, in the Bay of Kotor. Boka Kotorska is a beautiful winding bay on the Adriatic Sea, sometimes called Europe's southernmost fjord. ©Nick Hannes
Bijela, Montenegro, September 18, 2011
Locals relax near a damaged offshore platform at the ship yard of Bijela, in the Bay of Kotor. Boka Kotorska is a beautiful winding bay on the Adriatic Sea, sometimes called Europe’s southernmost fjord. ©Nick Hannes
The Sabanci Merkez Mosque in Adana is the largest mosque in Turkey. From the series 'The Continuity of Man', a portrait of the Mediterranean region. ©Nick Hannes
The Sabanci Merkez Mosque in Adana is the largest mosque in Turkey.
From the series ‘The Continuity of Man’, a portrait of the Mediterranean region.
©Nick Hannes

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Gaza, Palestine, May 27, 2014 Young men are playing in the sand on the beach of Gaza.
Gaza, Palestine, May 27, 2014
Young men are playing in the sand on the beach of Gaza.

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Ein Gev, Israel, June 7, 2014 Blond woman with hoolahoop on the beach of the Sea of Galilee.
Ein Gev, Israel, June 7, 2014
Blond woman with hoolahoop on the beach of the Sea of Galilee.

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Malta, June 17, 2014 View upon the upper deck with swimming pool of the MSC Lirica, a cruise ship from the Mediterranean Shipping Company, near Malta.
Malta, June 17, 2014
View upon the upper deck with swimming pool of the MSC Lirica, a cruise ship from the Mediterranean Shipping Company, near Malta.
Valencia, Spain, August 23, 2010 A couple is having a picnic in a narrow stretch of shadow along the Mediterranean coast in Pinedo, near Valencia.
Valencia, Spain, August 23, 2010
A couple is having a picnic in a narrow stretch of shadow along the Mediterranean coast in Pinedo, near Valencia.
Benidorm, Spain, August 13, 2010 ©Nick Hannes
Benidorm, Spain, August 13, 2010
©Nick Hannes

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“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)

www.continuityofman.com