100 years of cultural diplomacy is the new exhibition produced by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) that will be held at the Centro Niemeyer in Avilés (Asturias) from 25 November to 29 January 2023, in Room 2 of the Multipurpose Building.
The exhibition will use images and explanatory panels to show how culture has served as a vehicle of international recognition for Spain. Curated by CSIC researcher Lorenzo Delgado Gómez-Escalonilla, the exhibition shows how its teachers, writers, artists, scientists, aid workers and creators of different kinds have acted as agents of openness towards the world. Millions of people have come into contact with the Spanish reality, its historical and monumental heritage, and the diversity of its channels of expression. Culture is a powerful element of attraction, a way of awakening the interest of other peoples, a means of crossing borders, first mentally, then physically.
In 100 years of cultural diplomacy, visitors will find images of personalities such as Santiago Ramón y Cajal, José Ortega y Gasset, María Zambrano, Gregorio Marañón, Severo Ochoa, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Alexander Fleming, Gabriel García Márquez, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Sánchez, Jorge Oteiza, Miquel Barceló…, and so many other great figures, renowned or not, who took part in this exercise of making culture a privileged channel of foreign communication.
The exhibition also includes snapshots of emblematic places and events, of the many activities that have marked cultural diplomacy: Residencia de Estudiantes, the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929, the Spanish College in Paris, the evacuation of the Prado Museum during the Civil War, schools for emigrants, international exhibitions, congresses of Hispanists, scientific and technical cooperation, visits by astronauts, film festivals, the Seville Expo and the Olympic Games, Seville Expo and Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, Ibero-American Community, Cervantes Institute, cultural centres abroad and Casas that bring culture from other parts of the world to Spain, foundations and museums, cultural cooperation for development, Malaespina expedition, Royal Academy of Spain in Rome…