Livio Casanova: Crossing the Alphs


Advisor/tutor: Hypatia Vourloumis

Arnhem, June 2019


Starting with the poem “Alphs” by the Barbadian poet and historian Kamau Brathwaite and an investigation into Western landscape tradition from an anti-colonial point of view, this thesis explores the problematic behind the Enlightenment’s separation of body and mind. As an analytical lens towards the Alpine context, “Crossing The Alphs” refers to a large number of markers from Caribbean writers and black studies. These markers are used as subject as well as method, and as a consequence gradually attack and dismantle the institution called modernity and the canonized image it projects on the Alps. By way of including Caribbean poetry, contemporary science fiction, paradoxography and the author's own artworks, “Crossing The Alphs” opens up alternative perspectives, clearly arguing for a sensual experience towards the Alpine landscape. This aim is not linked to verticality or any modern notion of space and time, for its politics dismiss the romanticized Western view of the other and the exotic.