and "East" - two colossal figures in contemporary thought and imagination
- are mythical places. They were born in and around the Mediterranean, 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...
because of its geographical position, Andalusia confronts 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 "Sout"h
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", amplified by its formidable
extension in North America. To date, for instance, it 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.