Fractal island

— Diego Segatto

Ichnusa #0 is the experience of 3 people with 2 travel-mates willing to stay together on a journey and get to know each other better, through sharing in well-being, thinking, conversing, learning and making mistakes. This is the heart of it all: we were in Sardinia because we needed to talk with custodians of Sardinian culture whose knowledge, expressed through a curious, poetic and energic hospitality, deeply inspired us. We learned that Ichnusa, in ancient greek, means “footprint”. This seems perfect for a small first step.
The way we played Al Maeishah, in various ghorfat, happened continuously in varied forms around prepared and impromptu feasts, from the moment of arrival to the moment of departure. This is why on the 25th of August in the garden of the San Vero Milis Museum, we hoped to gather with people whom we met along the journey, as well as new encounters, to converse about the 3 themes of our investigations, and reciprocate the spirit of hospitality from which we had benefited so far. The host and the guest mixed roles, exchanging points of view. We were finally able to express the “mysterious” reasons for our journey and address the curiosity that had been building up. The most profound learning we received was in being welcomed despite the unclear goals of Al Maeishah.
Throughout the entire journey, we became progressively aware of the diversity and the fragmentation inside Sardinia. Like a Mandelbrot’s geometry, it presents a seamsless variation of geographies, slightly replicating an original matrix, thus reshaping the elements of its nature. While, paradoxically (or not), the infrastructural system connecting places, villages, towns and cities exposed how mobility can be a problem, causing people to feel disconnected from each other, yet very much connected to the land. Relatively small distances taking a long times to cross, within an ever changing environment, to meet people with so many different interpretations of the world, made us feel as if we were entering not one but several islands. A maze of belly-buttons connected with history and the globe in a way that is hard to describe, both enriched and compressed by an heritage of dominations, juxtapositions and more recent exploitations. The vastness and complexity of this horizon made us lose the borders of the island as a physical entity, yet led to its strong perception in our consciousness.
This, in a spontaneous way, forced Al Maeishah to recognize the membrane and the principles that define its communal perspectives.