Program 2017

Camus, Minorca, the Mediterranean. A Tribute to Camus

If there is anyone who represents the Mediterranean spirit and feeling in the intellectual and literary sphere, that is French-Algerian writer Albert Camus, a Mediterranean from every point of view or, as Jean Daniel described him, a “full Mediterranean”. Albert Camus lives, breathes, imagines, dreams, creates and rebels in favour of that heterogeneous Mediterranean full of contradictions in which critical reflection and passion go hand in hand, and aesthetics and ethics reach for each other to create a better world. These Mediterranean links are not only the result of Camus’ Algerian experiences, but are also rooted in the figure of his maternal grandmother, Catherine Marie Cardona, a peasant who had to leave her native Sant Lluís to leave behind hunger and poverty.

These Minorcan links bring us to organize the Mediterranean Gathering around the figure of Camus in order to give this “grandson of exiles” the tribute he deserves. And it is also an opportunity to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Nobel Prize that Camus was awarded “for his important literary production that, with clear-sighted earnestness, illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times”.


Under the double sign of Minorca and Ithaca, islands of “origins”, the Gathering will follow three core topics, to be tackled at round tables and lectures.

Writers, renowned figures of the literary world and thinkers from the various shores of this “Mare Nostrum” will be participating  to it.

Programme 2017

Day 1

April 29th, 2017

Ithaca or Homecoming Paths

In 1948, during a radio programme dedicated to René Char, Camus evoked “that great voice that accompanies our difficult navigation and speaks to us unremittingly about Ithaca where we will land, desspite all obstacles, and where we will once more find the simple joy of being a man.” (Pléiade, O.C.II, p.768)

From his very first essays to The First Man, the work of Camus is marked by nostalgia, that longing to return, that “nostos”. Just as Ulysses was far from Ithaca, Camus, exiled from the original island, “uprooted from the innocent and warm world of the poor, a world closed in on itself like an island…” (1), the world of his mother and his Minorcan grandmother, embarks on a journey in search of his true motherland at the expense of a “difficult navigation”, at the end of which he hopes to reach Ithaca although, as he notes, “it was not that easy to find Ithaca”. (Pléiade, O.C.I, p.1299).

Presentations / Opening of the Gathering

9:30 am – 10:40 am

InterventionsM. Montserrat Morlà Subirats, Mayor of Sant LluísMiguel Ángel Moratinos, Michel Barré and S.E Yves Saint-Geours, French Embassador in Spain

Round table

About Ithaca

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Moderator: Francesc M. Rotger
Interventions: Fina Salord, Carlota Vicens and Javier Reverte

Keynote Address

Return to the Origins: Mother and Grandmother, From the First Essays to the First Man.

1:10 pm – 2:10 pm

Agnes Spiquel

Lunch break

2:30 pm – 4 pm

Round table

The «Odyssean» Journey of Camus

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Moderator: Guy Basset
Interventions: Maïssa Bey, Jordi Coca and Marie-Thérèse Blondeau

2 Keynote Speeches

Exile, Nostos and Homeland

6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

Yannis Kiourtsakis and Ghayath Almadhoun

Concert of Murad Issa and Samir Homsi

21.00 h

Offered by the French Institute
Sala Polivalent Albert Camus, Sant Lluís

Day 2

April 30th, 2017

The Choice of Ithaca

«We shall choose Ithaca, the faithful land, frugal and audacious thought, lucid action (…)»
(The Rebel, Pleiade, O.C.III, p.323-4)

After the Second World War, at a round table titled “Civilisation”, Camus made this call: “… the only thing left to do is have sufficient energy, willpower and lucidity to gather a certain number of people around provisional wills. We must prepare today a continuation and a future…” (O.C. II, p.684)

Here, on this island of Minorca, in these times of crisis in which the Mediterranean is witnessing on its shores and waters so many tensions and dramas… Is not this the time and place to respond to the call of Camus and try to find in his works “buoys” that could guide us and pave the way to a calm future?

2 Keynote Speeches

Camus, Actor and Witness of his Time

9:30 am – 10:40 am

Jean-Yves Guerin and María Santos Sainz

Round table

Which Ithaca for the Inhabitants of the Mediterranean Today?

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Moderator: Jesús Maraña
Interventions: Mohamed Achaari, Manuel Vicent and Samar Yazbek

Keynote Speech

Restraint and Excess; The “Meridian Thought» " («la pensée de Midi»)

1:10 pm – 2:10 pm

Françoise Kletz-Drapeau

Lunch Break

2:30 pm – 4 pm

Round table

Which “Camusian Buoys” can Guide Us and Pave the Way to a Calm Future?

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Moderator: Bouziane Ahmed Khodja
Interventions: Amin Maalouf, Yasmina Kadhra and Sinan Anton

Keynote Speech

Current Meaning of the Ancient Myths Camus Rrefers to

6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

Hélène Rufat

Day 3

May 1st, 2017

Mediterranean Lights

«In the core of our work, albeit black, shines an endless sun…»
(O.C.III, Summer, The Enigma, p.606)

In these times, we also need something to show us the way, to shed some light on these turbulent paths. We, the citizens of the 21st-century world, wish to five into Camus’ works to try and understand ourselves better, and find a way to build a better future.

We also wish to give the floor to all those who build new horizons via their words and thoughts while drawing from Camus’ works, where the light, that “endless sun”, is present.

“O light! This is the cry of all the characters of ancient drama brought face to face with their fate. This last resort is also ours… In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer”. (The Summer, Return to Tipasa, O.C.III, p.613)

During the Gathering, we will feel the light shining on the Mediterranean with the help of these men and women of letters.

3 Keynote Speeches

Creator Sun

9.30 am – 11 pm

Frank Planeille, Josep Ramoneda and Oliver Laxe

Round table

Thoughts on the Mediterranean; What Lights For the World?

11.10 am – 1.10 pm

Moderator: Iñaki Gabilondo
Interventions: Jehan Bseiso, Ponç Pons and Camille de Toledo

Conclusions- End of the Gathering

1.20 pm – 2.00 pm

InterventionAgnès Spiquel & Miguel Angel Moratinos

Visit of the photographic exhibition “Noray. La ancha frontera” from Juan Valbuena at Maó.

7.30 pm

Organized by the Town Hall of Maó. Opened
from April 7th to May 12th 2017.
Sala de Cultura Sa Nostra, Maó