It is part of a larger European project, which, for Bulgaria, will also include a vast array of events – lectures, round tables, festivities, and presentations of architecture, arts, crafts, gastronomy, and music from various countries in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. A scientific conference led by the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences will sum up all experiences, designed to open minds and hearts to the movements of cultures across Europe and beyond.
The exhibition From Andalusia to the Orient: Encounter of Civilizations will take place between October and July in various cities in Bulgaria. It represents a journey through the centuries and geographies, historically tracing the cultural interactions between the European continent and the Orient. In Bulgaria the focus will be on the arts, sciences, everyday life, gastronomy and architecture as a cultural heritage left in all Europe by several Eastern civilizations – Abrahamic, Arabic, Ottoman, etc. These interactions are also vividly represented in the opposite direction – the European influences in the North-African colonies, the cultural and spiritual migrations between continents and the impact that all these exchanges continue to have on the daily life of the Europeans.
The Mosque and Cathedral of Córdoba, hallmark of the Moorish architecture in Spain, dating from the early 8th century. A mosque and Catholic Church in the same time. Detail © 2017 Andrew Smith
From Andalusia to the Orient: Encounter of Civilizations is a high-tech, extremely interactive exhibition, aiming to involve a wide range of audiences, who are interested to know how the East-West cultural interchanges have developed, to understand their material and intangible expressions that surround us, and to gain a view on how they influence our lives today. Believing that only the knowledge about these interactions can change our attitudes, the goal of this multi-country project (Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria) is to show how culture can shape the future of the Mediterranean and beyond.
This publication is partially sponsored by the Culture Programme of the European Union 2007-2013.
Chart of the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the coasts of Western Europe and northwest Africa. In Civitate Majorica: Mateus Prunes, 1559 © Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division
One of the domed cupolas of the San Cataldo Church in Palermo, 12th century, part of the UNESCO site Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale © 2017 Cultural Arcs Foundation