Why Arévalo?



After intense research and reflection, the city of Arévalo (Ávila - Castilla y León) was chosen to carry out Collegium, thanks to its dense and strategic profile in its history and location. The city was the scene of the passage and integration of diverse peoples and cultures, and at the end of the 16th century, one of the first Jesuit colleges was founded there. Despite being a historical icon of education and research, unfortunately, the college is now in ruins, a very symbolic condition in evidence of the need for local rescue and transformation. In this quest, the first step was taken towards the construction of a complex with a view to recovering, reflecting, celebrating, and safeguarding the history and culture of the important region of Ávila, while stimulating production and dissemination and enabling links and exchange with the global context.

Collegium launches itself as a field of permeability of time, aiming at the production of the 21st century, by placing itself in the necessary reflection on the past and the present, while drawing the future.
Contemporary art is, by essence, a vehicle for reflection on the culture of the new millennium, since its interpretation requires, in order to consolidate itself, problematisation related to time, space, and past movements, generating diverse reactions and political, economic and social concerns, indispensable themes for thinking and creating new horizons. It yearns for a critique that advances with its creation, that leads to the emancipation of subjectivities and the encounter and consolidation of identities, from an active and restless perspective, of thinking and knowing the world beyond the status-quo.

With a surface area of almost 15,000m², including 5600m² of exhibition space, the development of links with the region is launched through (i) the Curatorial Programme, which includes a 21st century artistic research center, restaurant, artistic residencies, conferences, and courses; and (ii) the Extended Experience, which will include cultural and architectural tours through the history of Arévalo, reviewing the interaction between Muslim, Christian, and Jewish culture, as well as a gastronomic ecosystem.

Collegium will not be limited to the visual arts. It will seek to record and stimulate all forms of knowledge and practices, and to create a means of intersection and exchange between different audiences, to build from the union of multiple gnosis, a field that reflects this diversity and enables the enjoyment of its own individual protagonists while creating a non-normative, horizontal and permeable space for training and education, that erases economic, generational, geographical, ethnic, racial, sexual or gender boundaries.

We invite and hope to include, through our different projects, the most varied groups, to generate a dialogue and social coexistence from the critical, playful, functional, interactive, and to demonstrate to the public authorities, the scope that artistic and socio-cultural initiatives can have for the containment and recovery of the depopulation that plagues the area.

In this way, visits and coexistence are expected not only from the local population but from all over the world, as its location is strategic and easily accessible. Through the A-6 motorway from the Arévalo station, the Madrid-Hendaye railway line is directly connected to key cities to generate the macro transit of people, not only in the country but in the European continent and the world. It is worth mentioning that Adolfo Suárez Airport (Madrid-Barajas) is the fourth largest in Europe, and the route that connects it to Barcelona Airport is the one with the highest number of weekly flights worldwide.

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