There is something seductive about movement and circulation. In imagining the new world in the making, experts in academia, corporate policy, politics and popular culture often succumb to the charisma of an era of global flows and borderless horizons of endless opportunity. Increased circulation stands as a promising sign of global newness and future making. An interesting feature of these visions of a hyper-mobile world is how their future orientation implicitly render the past static. Hegemonic globalist dreams confer a sense of disfunctionality to things, people and places that are thought as immobile and too slow: being slow is lagging behind; becoming old, not modern enough.
Yet this simple binarism between new-mobile and old-static neglects both the significance of mobility in modern and pre-modern times and the complexity of temporal frames, scales and orientations underlying current patterns of circulation. Rather than pure indeterminacy in the emergence of new futures, what characterises the landscape of global mobilities are assemblages of fluidities and stabilities, discontinuities and continuities, complex becomings and multiple determinations.
Old inertias and path dependencies continue to shape life in the Mediterranean. And yet new challenges such as peak oil and climate change are making the future look less like the past. New horizons are being opened, many bleak, some hopeful. With its sensibility to technological infrastructures, path dependencies and emergence, a ‘mobilities’ perspective can offer original insights on the future of social, political and ecological life in the Mediterranean.
Photo by Félix Antolín Hernandez.