Young Artists Residency

Spain
Mariola Andonegui
Community engagement, Diversity, Education, Youth oriented
Intangible, Natural, Tangible
2018
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In the residency, organised by the San Millán Foundation, young artists explore the surroundings and live among the inhabitants of this town, thereby discovering cultural heritage, with a past deeply rooted in the Benedictine monastic tradition, which tells us of the shaping of the Christian and Moorish kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula, the European pilgrimage routes and the first texts written in the Romance language. Cultural heritage becomes a source of inspiration for the artistic creation.

This residency comes within the summer residency programme of the Fine Arts Faculty of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, whose defining feature is that it takes place in rural settings in various regions with an interesting cultural and historical heritage.

Through this residency we hope that the presence of a group of young creative artists in this village, of just 250 inhabitants, will help local population to bolster the role of art and aesthetics in rediscovering their cultural heritage, as well serving as an instrument for bringing about the cohesion of the local community and an improvement on the quality of life of its inhabitants.

This is a formative experience within a social setting and contexts which are very different to what university students meet in their normal academic experience. On the one hand, the young artists take on board the cultural values of the surroundings in which they have worked and project them through a new prism in their works and, on the other, the local community rediscovers and enhances, through this new vision, the significance of their cultural heritage and establish a new relationship with it. 
Thanks to these residencies the artists and the local community act at one and the same time as audience and as creators and communicators of the heritage. It is interesting to see how the cultural values become the point of connection and exchange between people of very different ages, educational background and places of origin. 

European Dimension

In our project we start with people as producers and protectors of the heritages assets of the place and seek to establish new bonds between the people and their heritage so as to aid their protection, enrichment and the enjoyment of all the citizens. 
The heritage asset which is at the heart of this study is the cultural landscape of the Valley of San Millán de la Cogolla. The history of the monarchy and of monasticism in Europe and its link with the pilgrims’ routes as part of the shaping of European culture from antiquity to the 21st century, can be read in ev every corner of this valley and the young artists capture it and show it through their works.
The project enjoys the participation of the local community, support from the regional government, backing from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the participation of the University.
The artists live among the local population, the villagers open their doors to them and show them their heritage, help them to create their works which will be on display in the Monastery cloister throughout the summer, so that all the locals and the thousands of tourists can see them.
This learning experience in such a different setting to the normal one for these young city dwellers, will awaken their curiosity, encourage respect for other lifestyles and for other cultures and creeds, and will help them to discover the diversity of European culture.
This residency forms part of a network of artists, open to future European partners.

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