Running in the course of centuries, the relationships between Europe and the Orient have been conflicting and dramatic, but also extremely fruitful and enriching. From the period of Antiquity, through the Arabic conquests in Southern Europe, the Ottoman rule in the Balkans and the complicated relations between the West and its colonies, people traded, systems clashed and interacted around the Mediterranean, leaving behind traces in social, political and cultural life. Evidence of these centuries-long interactions can be found also 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 our contemporary world. Profound and multilayered, this complexity of the interactions between Europe and the Orient keeps on resonating and forms a steady undercurrent in European culture until today.
Europe and the Orient: Past Encounters, Heritage, and Present-Day Interactions
26-29 September 2018