The exhibition Murcia: In Europe’s Garden explores Murcia, an area in southeastern Spain, which is little known in Germany despite its importance to German consumers.
Huerta de Europa
The Murcia region is not particularly popular as a tourist destination, nor famous for its richly varied landscape and almost 50,000 year history bearing witness to the presence of Iberians, Phoenicians and Romans, among others. During the Middle Ages Murcia was situated on the boundary between Islamic and Christian Spain. It is not only the historical cultural contacts between Moors, Christians, and Jews that have left their mark on the region but also the irrigation systems introduced during the period of Islamic rule, making it possible to grow fruit in the relatively arid plain. That innovation enabled Murcia to expand into one of Europe’s key agricultural areas, delivering most of the fruit and vegetables sold in Germany.
As the Huerta de Europa – the garden of Europe – the region now attracts migrant workers from Europe and North Africa. At the same time, many pensioners, especially from Germany and England, enjoy spending their retirement along Murcia’s 250 km coastline. Its economy, migration, history and current developments make Murcia a rich region abounding in cultural heritage and cultural diversity.
Past and Present
The exhibition Murcia: In Europe’s Garden links Murcia’s past and present. Documentary photographs of European and non-European immigrants shed light on the subject of migration in Murcia. A joint project with local residents brought forth personal objects that provide insights into everyday life in the region. Students from the University of Murcia use short films to make the area not only visible but audible as well. Historical photographs from the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (MEK, Museum of European Cultures) collection and the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (IAI, Ibero-American Institute) augment the exhibition.
Murcia: In Europe’s Garden has been created in collaboration with Centre for European Studies (CEEUM) at the University of Murcia and the Sociedad Murciana de Antropología.
17th European Cultural Days
In August 2021 the European Cultural Days will present the region with films, lectures, readings, culinary events and musical performances.