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The New World


ENVISIONING THE UNKNOWN

The Maastricht University Library in collaboration with the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design (MAFAD) proudly presents ‘The New World’.

Join us for a cosy evening for an interactive exhibition where MAFAD students will be presenting their creative perceptions of unknown cultures. An exposition inspired by ‘Two Girls on Expedition in China’, a three week long voyage through China by two Maastricht University (UM) students. The two students set out to China with the aim of retracing the footsteps of 17th century Jesuits entailed in the works of Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher. Also, don’t miss out on the opportunity to see the premiere screening of the documentary of the voyage.

Come and explore

  • ‘The New World’ will take place on Thursday 8 December, from 17.00 – 21.30
  • The place to be: MAFAD Office, Kruisherengang, Stuersbuilding, black gate
  • Admission is free
  • Live music will be provided by David Ley (Love Foundation)
  • The bar will be well stocked with a wide variety of drinks provided by the WE festival crew
  • Also there will be a food stand with delicious refreshments in the courtyard, provided by our friends from With Love Burrito
  • Stay up to date: all New World updates on the UM Library Facebook page  

What can you expect?

‘The New World’ event will try to provide a comparative view on how our cultural views of the unknown have changed and where they have remained the same for centuries. ‘The New World’ will not only document, but also provide concrete evidence of how we as individuals might imagine distant cultures which we have not yet discovered. In an era of increasing globalisation this seems to be an impossible task, however, our idea of the perception of the unknown strikes many similarities to that of the 17th century Jesuit Scholars. This is what the students will show you.

Envisioning the unknown

MAFAD has a diverse and wide-spanning cultural variety among its students. Students of the Academy use Kircher’s China illustrated and the experiences of the students who travelled through China to evaluate cultural perceptions as a means of inspiration for the exhibition. Students focus on providing theoretical and artistic insight on the representation of distant and unknown cultures. A task that Athanasius Kircher himself undertook while documenting the journeys of Jesuit scholars in 17th century China.

Two girls on expedition in China

Within the programme of Maastricht University’s 40th Anniversary in 2016, two UM students embarked on a journey retracing the footsteps of 17th century Jesuits with the aim of providing insight into contemporary Chinese culture. Aside from documenting their journey by means of camera footage and an interactive blog, the two students also intended to provide a comparative view of how the Jesuits themselves observed the environment of 17th century China during their own travels. 

Catch up on the blog at: library.maastrichtuniversity.nl/two-girls-in-china 

UM Special Collections

Both parts of the programme are inspired by the UM Special Collections. The UM Library holds a number of Special Collections, which are of significant value to society, education and research both now and in the future. The well-known Jesuit Collection, with over 250,000 valuable works of scientific, legal and theological significance, is of particular importance. Among others it contains lavishly illustrated travel books dating back to the 16th century. We stimulate, support and promote the use of the collections in education and research, emphasise their social relevance, and explore innovative ways to highlight the collections.

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