Instituto Cervantes Brussels

As part of SILKNOW, the Instituto Cervantes of Brussels has organized a series of round tables called “Ensedados”. This cycle will take us to the territories of the European Silk Road from different points of view.

The first cycle will be a series of talks on literature, art and the history of silk. The second one, will be part of the European School of Administration and will focus on the challenges facing Europe and culture, in particular textiles, wothin the UN Sustainable Development Goals and International Relations.

First cycle. “Silk: tales, arts and silk travels”.

All round tables will be free of charge and by zoom.

Silk routes and networks, between East and West. 15 June, 19:00 CET. REGISTRATION
Silk has accompanied mankind for millennia, and along routes that cross continents and oceans. Travellers, writers, traders, weavers, painters… all have carried silk in their luggage, literally and mentally. The paths between East and West have followed a thousand different paths and networks, the traces of which we can continue to discover in our global present.

  • Jorge Sebastián Lozano. Professor of Art History, University of Valencia.
  • Dolores Serrano Niza. Professor in Arabic Philology, University of La Laguna.
  • Juan Serrat Cuenca-Romero. Diplomat and traveller.
  • Moderator: Philippe Robertet. Deputy Director of International Relations, Instituto Cervantes.

Stories told by silk. Music, literature and art. 29 June, 19:00 CET. REGISTRATION
Several arts have approached the world of silk, so rich in contacts and cultural influences. Travel literature has often reflected these exchanges, as well as many words and metaphors that we continue to use every day in our language. Instruments and musical creations are also eloquent witnesses to stories that still captivate us in the 21st century.

  • Mónica Bolufer. Professor of Modern History, University of Valencia.
  • Laura García Arroyo. Journalist and lexicographer.
  • Carles Magraner. Musician, co-founder of Capella de Ministrers.
  • Moderator: Ester Alba Pagán. Vice-Rector for Culture and Sports at the University of Valencia. Principal Investigator of the SILKNOW project.

European training round tables.

All round tables will be free of charge and by zoom.
Although these round tables are aimed at European civil servants, they are open to anyone interested in sustainability, cultural heritage and international relations.

Europe Is Woven in Silk. A Conversation on International Relations, Heritage and Digital Technology.24 June. 12:30 CET REGISTRATION
Knowledge about heritage plays a key role in the construction of European identity, deepening the understanding of our common past and establishing the foundations for our shared future. The interaction between culture, trade routes and technology has taken place for millennia, and continues to do so. Silk is a leading example of this kind of networks, both on the European and the global scale. It demonstrates the relevance of textile production as a tool for East/West cultural relations. Not only is it an object of consumption and usage in countless environments; it also brings together entrepreneurs, designers, engineers, scholars, cultural institutions, international diplomacy and national or local authorities, among others. The speakers in this round table have valuable insights into the continuing relevance of silk as a beacon for worldwide relations. Rafael Soriano has worked as a diplomat for three decades. From his current position in Instituto Cervantes, he oversees the Institute’s strategy for cultural diplomacy, on behalf of the Spanish government. Rodrigo Martín works for the Research Executive Agency of the European Commission, liaising with Horizon 2020 projects where heritage and digital technologies are interwoven. Cristina Portalés is Technical Manager of SILKNOW, a EU-funded research project that uses state-of-the-art computing technologies to enhance the understanding of silk heritage among the European population.

  • Rodrigo Martín, Project Officer, Research Executive Agency, European Commission.
  • Cristina Portalés, Senior Researcher in Computer Science, UV.
  • Rafael Soriano, Director of International Relations, Instituto Cervantes.

Sustainable Fashion: No Longer Just Another Option. 7 July. 13:00 CET REGISTRATION
This round table will address sustainable development, with two young representatives of the United Nations who are working on the Sustainable Development Goals, the blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, such as poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. From this perspective, we will take as a starting point the fashion industry, one of the most polluting industries in the world, but at the same time, one of the most important industries for development. This was recognized by the European Union in 2016, stating that fashion industries are at the heart of the creative economy, generating huge economic wealth and preserving European identity, culture and values. To introduce this topic, we will count with Edda Hamar, who co-founded Undress Runways, a movement pushing for sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry without compromising style. We will also address how cultural heritage has much to contribute to this industry from a historical and identity perspective. To demonstrate this, Mar Gaitán, an art historian and researcher, will talk about SILKNOW, a project funded by the EU (Horizon 2020) which has worked with young designers, professional fashion designers, 3D-printing industry and traditional industries to enhance the value of silk heritage. Finally, the gender and environmental perspective will come from Tere González, a social entrepreneur since the age of 16 and co-founder of two NGOs, who currently works at World Bank Group, where she contributes to the global communications efforts to advance gender equality.

  • Tere González, Consultant World Bank Group. Founder of Litro de Luz Mexico. United Nations Young Leader for the SDGs.
  • Edda Hamar, Head of Production, Undress Runways. United Nations Young Leader for the SDGs.
  • Mar Gaitán, Research Assistant, SILKNOW.