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6th Continent

“Quay, port, pier or deck, central square or market place, shipyard or sh shop, fountain or lighthouse, church, monastery, or cemetery, the sea itself – they can all become open-air stages, backdrops for all kinds of roles, trivial and fateful, all kinds of rituals, quotidian and eternal. The centuries teem with these scenes and events. They are the past and the present of the Mediterranean, the history of the Mediterranean theatre”.
(Predrag Matvejević, Mediterranean, a cultural landscape)

The origins of the project date back to the year 2007. Mattia Insolera sailed away from Italy with a friend who wanted to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a sailboat. After two weeks of navigation he realized he was more interested in the life on shore rather than the mere task of sailing. He dropped off in the Strait of Gibraltar and there he had a rst glimpse of a truly Mediterranean environment, a world inhabited by seamen and dockers, smugglers and migrants. He decided to devote the next years of his life to a comprehensive photographic project about Mediterranean culture. Soon after, he moved to Barcelona to be in a place well connected to its shores. From there he was able to reach 13 Mediterranean countries, traveling on any kind of boat, from sailing to cargo, and covering 25.000 Km with his motorbike.

Nowadays most of the people know the Mediterranean for being a paradise of sea, sun and blue sky, or a theatre of drama for the ow of immigrants towards Europe. Belonging to this area, Mattia Insolera felt the urge to scratch the surface of this touristic cliché, and go beyond the news, to try to capture the real essence of this space. The Mediterranean of the XXI Century has become divisive: a barbed wired fence between the North and the South of the world. It is also the basin where the major con icts of the world are taking place, a dangerous passage for those who ee from misery and war and even a cemetery for 20.000 migrants that sunk in its waters in the last 20 years.

It wasn’t always like this. In the past this inner sea was inclusive: a bridge connecting shores and different cultures, a fertile soil for the very rst civilisations. According to the Turkish writer known as the Fisherman of Halikarnassos, it was a Sixth Continent, distinct from the arbitrary ve continents of geographers, assimilating people coming from the antipodes of the earth, turning them into Mediterraneans. Mattia Insolera wanted to nd out if something remained of that time so he focused his camera on people who still relate to the sea as a surface for transportation, a working place, an area of exchange; in other words, people who still experience the sea as a Sixth Continent.


6th Continent by Mattia Insolera

Number of photo

24 Prints (different dimensions)
5 Prints (images) on cotton tissue
4 Prints (texts) on cotton tissue


Color (Images on paper and tissue); B/n (texts on tissue)


See technical rider

Frame size

See technical rider

Set Up

24 Hooks on the back for frames
2 Panel: intro, bio (text in appendix), and title, must be printed at the expense of the hosting organization

5 Prints (images) on cotton tissue should be tted with iron bar and hanging with nylon or steel wires
4 Prints (texts) on cotton tissue should be tted with iron bar and hanging with nylon or steel wires

Linear development

20mt minimum required linear space

Shipping crates:

2 boxes 99x35x69cm
2 boxes 69x65x49 cm

Download the datasheet