The fluidity of the nation state
By Giuditta Vendrame
“Future architecture should be humid, a wet place where borders disappear. Seas and rivers are not dividing topographical features, but connectors with water as their unifying element.”
Designer Giuditta Vendrame explores the fluidity of the nation state in maritime and fluvial zones across Europe. In 2015, for one of her projects entitled What is the purpose of your visit? – A journey towards the high seas, she travelled on a fishing boat out across the Mediterranean until she reached international waters where, according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), no State can claim sovereignty.
There she collected 50 litres of “international water” and transported it back to northern Europe. This “portable portion of the high seas” acted as a “moveable exception zone, where status is paused, and we are neither citizens nor aliens”. For Vendrame, this performative gesture suggests a spatial opportunity, a symbolic zero degree zone, where it might be possible to rethink the meaning of citizenship. ■