That plants have always held an essential value for human life may be obvious, but nevertheless it is true. Despite this, in the IT- and technology-oriented societies of 21st century Europe, plants are largely disregarded. Most people are unaware of the role plant derivatives play in a number of their everyday activities, whether it’s baking a mouth-watering cake, sipping a favourite brandy, relaxing in a chair, or slipping on a pair of jeans. Nowadays, though, a great deal of ancient botanical ingredients have been replaced by artificial chemical products. We select our fruits unknowing whether they come from tall exotic trees or common low-lying shrubs; for this information is of no matter to us, modern-day hunter-gatherers, when we are searching for food in supermarkets as our ancestors once did in forests. Because of the decline in farming in many countries, and likewise the perception of seasonal rhythms (largely marked by plant life cycles), relative popular traditions are gradually disappearing. The outcome of this general loss of plant knowledge is that most people are no longer aware of the importance of plant use in their lives. Plants are generally perceived as limited to the realms of either ecologists or intellectuals and therefore any consideration of plant issues today is implicitly viewed as superfluous. Nevertheless, even today, plants provide for primary needs, such as food, medicine, clothing, tools, furniture and homewares, as well as social needs, such as body painting, make-up and ornaments, and are also common symbols and emblems. They have also always been employed in ceremonies and religious rites, thereby fulfilling transcendental needs.The aim of this pan-European exhibition, ‘Plants and Culture in the history of Europe’, is to show the importance of plants in building a European identity. As part of the European Culture Programme (2007-2013), a network containing dozens of researchers has been involved in a complex joint project to present a new and unique set of stories. These cover botany, archaeology, plant use throughout history, and popular traditions from eleven European countries, offering also a brief glance at European botanical history. The exhibition is based on the concept of Europe portrayed through plants, in the hope that the roots of our past become the seeds of our future.
Plants and Culture in the history of Europe24 gennaio - 22 febbraio 2009Chiostri di San Domenico - Reggio Emilia / Mercuri, Anna Maria; Mazzanti, Marta; S., Chicchi. - (2009).
|Titolo:||Plants and Culture in the history of Europe24 gennaio - 22 febbraio 2009Chiostri di San Domenico - Reggio Emilia|
|Autore/i:||Mercuri, Anna Maria; Mazzanti, Marta; S., Chicchi|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
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