Julia: The Submerged Volcano
Le Lieu Unique Center for Contemporary Culture, Nantes, France, 2019
Tomorrows: Speculative Fictions for Mediterranean Futures
Curators: Daphne Dragona, Panos Dragonas
March 29 - June 2, 2019

Julia, the Submerged Volcano responds to current questions about humanity’s relationship to the Earth by speculating on the geography of a Mediterranean submerged volcano. Beneath the shimmering waters of the Tyrrhenian sea, and at about 7m below sea level, lays Julia (also Graham Island or Ferdinandea), one of the largest submarine volcanic edifice of Europe. In the South of Sicily, Julia last appeared in 1831 after a volcanic eruption. An international dispute over its sovereignty started and remained unresolved when the island eroded and vanished a year later.

During its brief life, geologist Constant Prévost witnessed this appearance and reported it to the Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France. The discovery was made in July 1831 and the island was named Île Julia, for its July appearance. Some observers wondered if a chain of mountains would spring up, linking Sicily to Tunisia and thus disturbing the geopolitics of the region.

Julia could be reborn as an island. Recent waves have been created by journalists who have stirred public anxiety with dire warnings of imminent eruptions. Julia showed signs of activity regularly in recent years, forecasting a possible appearance. Geologically speaking, it's a possibility, but geology has its own time scale.

The project speculates on the geography of the Mediterranean through a geostory on a submerged volcano. It unfolds in a series of polyptychs that narrate such geohistory and speculates on the dynamics of tectonic plates (geology) at the origin of the emergence and disappearance of such mass of magma in the sea.

Project Details:
40 x 240 cm backlit drawing

Project Team:
El Hadi Jazairy + Rania Ghosn
Jordan Laurila, Liam Li

Click for more information about the Julia: The Submerged Volcano project.