and East are two colossal figures in contemporary thought and imagination. They
are mythical places. The Mediterranean saw their birth, and to a great extent
they still live on its shores. Its mythological memory and cultural history can
help us understand the fascination (and panic) they excert, and lead us to new
(or renewed) forms of imagining and dealing with their polemics.
in general, and Granada in particular, are ideal places for such reflections.
They carry memories of long, rich dialogues with 'South' and 'East.' They are
also sufficiently removed from the Middle Eastern cauldron to entertain more serene,
detached attitudes, sidestepping the hatreds of sibling religions. Al Andaluz
was seen by many as earthly paradise - because of its gardens, for sure, but also
because of its cultural openness. Its pastoral images and passionate idealisms
still fire the imagination. And yet, because of its geographical position, Andalusia
has to confront the hundreds of "pateras", the boat-people, that land
on its beaches every day, coming up from that Great South, sometimes called the
forgotten continent: Africa.
aim of these meetings is to reflect and study the mythological roots and offshoots
of the images, emotions, religions linked to the imagination of South and East.
brief look at history: 1492, the fall of Granada puts an end to the great cultural
chapter of the Arab presence in Europe. A few years later the Catholic kings expel
the Jews from Spain, imposing laws of religious and cultural uniformity (Gipsies
were victims of this policy, a fact not often mentioned by historians.) These
events, together with the Turkish invasions in Central Europe, would draw the
boundaries of a Christian 'occidental' Europe. The notion of a 'European civilization'
grows within an imaginary 'North West.' Today it still identifies it military
defense with the North Atlantic (NATO.)
the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, the ghosts and demons of these divisions
returned forcefully. Artists and intellectuals have a task here : not to allow
fanaticisms (from all points of the compass: the South, East, the North and West)
to take over mythical thinking, the pleasure and the challenge of its diversity
and imagination, by converting it into religions or exclusive ideologies.
can consult the Presentación
Oficial en Español.