Festival of Mediterranean Citizens

The Festival of Mediterranean Citizens is a 4-day international gathering with debates, interviews, workshops, literary readings, talk sessions, film screenings, exhibitions, live concerts, performances and guided visits, and taking place in the city of Catania at the beginning of June. The whole Festival will feature Mediterranean activists, artists, intellectuals, authors, or mayors all together to build a shared future and a common destiny beyond borders.

Who can participate?

This Festival is dedicated and open to all citizens who believe that we are citizens who can shape a community recognizing our common roots in diversity, sharing common interests, and building a culture of rights, democracy, and equality. It is the Festival of those who believe that “We are Mediterranean”.

Attendees include NGOs, activists, journalists, entrepreneurs and citizens from the whole Euro-Mediterranean space.

Where and when?

The 4-day festival is held in Catania from the 2nd to 5th of June 2022. Catania, famous to be the “City of the Elephant”, is the second largest city in Sicily. It is located on Sicily’s east coast, at the base of the active volcano, Mount Etna, and it faces the Ionian Sea and has around 300.000 inhabitants.

Sicily has always been a crossroads of different peoples, nations and cultures, a cradle of Mediterranean civilization; and Catania, an illustrious Baroque city with a history stretching back thousands of years, founded in 729 BC by Greek settlers from the Euboea Island, is today a city with an international vocation and a strong Euro-Mediterranean cultural and social potential.

Among the venues which will host the Festival’s activities, we can mention:

  • Palazzo della Cultura
  • Galleria d’Arte Moderna 
  • Cortile Castello Orsino 
  • San Nicolò churchyard
  • Biblioteca storica
  • University of Catania      
  • Other symbolic locations

What is the main purpose of the Festival?

The Festival of Mediterranean Citizens is an open event aimed at shaping a culture of civic engagement, and at narrating stories of active citizenship in the Mediterranean. It explores collective action, a “citizenship in progress”, anchored in the many values and practices, in the knowledge and in the heritage that we share as people of a region which is homogeneous in its complex and inherently pluralistic nature. Mediterranean citizenship is the bond that can bring people together around common values that are conducive to a future of peace and solidarity. It is an idea based on the feeling of belonging to the Mediterranean region, on transcending geographical or political borders. It is nourished by the belief that responsibilities or rights are derived from membership in the broader class of “humanity” and draws upon the communal heritage shared by both shores. It finally aims to create a society where social justice, free movement of people, ecological recovery, solidarity economy and knowledge exchange and participatory democracy prevail.

The programme

With approximately 50 sessions taking place along 13 different formats and addressing 9 topics, the main programme aims to cover important Mediterranean issues and challenges, often through thought-provoking angles and with the participation of highly acclaimed international names and less known names. These sessions will involve around 140 guests, coming from Catania’s community, regional civil society, and the media, political and academic world – to contribute from diverse angles to the interesting topics debated at the Festival. The thematic axes of the Festival revolve around the issues facing Mediterranean’s citizens:

  • The Mediterranean is our common destiny
  • The cause of democracy
  • Rights and citizenship for everybody
  • Making civil society resilient
  • The challenge of ecological transition
  • Economy for social justice
  • Women in society
  • Cultures and faiths working together
  • Rule of law and transparency come ­first

Where to follow the Festival of Mediterranean Citizens?

All the programme details, speakers profiles and useful information are frequently posted on Facebook and Instagram, prior to, during and following the Festival.

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Organisers and host

The festival is organised by the EU-programme Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality and hosted in collaboration with the City of Catania.

Downloadable materials

Contact us

Med Dialogue: gianluca.solera@particip.com

City of Catania: assessore.cultura@comune.catania.it

Organising committee: Festival.MedCitizens@particip.com

Public relations and media: med-dialogue@particip.com