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European Cultural Days

Each summer, we hold the European Cultural Days. Every year the month-long event showcases a different European country, region, or city and the people who live there. A small thematic exhibition is accompanied by a rich events programme. The festival lasts for roughly four weeks and is organized by the Museum Europäischer Kulturen in collaboration with various institutions across the continent, including European cultural institutions, societies, communities, and/or the embassies that represent them in Berlin, as well as partner museums in the relevant countries.

The series has so far featured Samian, Polish, Venetian, Tatarian, Estonian, Croatian, Romanian, Sardinian, Apulian, Slovakian, Georgian, Smålandian, Armeninan and Frisian Cultural Days as well as the European Cultural Days: Thessaloniki | Facets of a City. For the 20th anniversary of MEK in 2019, the focus was on a transcultural theme for the first time: Europe à la carte: Connected by Food. The 17th European Days of Culture in 2021 focused on the Spanish region of Murcia

This event is an opportunity for us to enhance our contacts with cooperation partners in Europe, while simultaneously offering our visitors the chance to encounter other ways of life on the continent. At the same time, it is our express aim to reach out to people of non-German origin so they can discover the museum for the first time and enjoy familiar aspects of life from their home countries. By doing so, we aim to help foster a positive sense of self in those people and ease their integration in Germany.

20th European Cultural Days: Sápmi

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the European Cultural Days. In honour of this occasion, the MEK dedicates this year’s programme (from 15 August to 15 September) to the northern European region of Sápmi. The first Cultural Days in 2000 also focused on this region. What has happened since then? How is Sámi cultural heritage preserved and developed today?

In collaboration with international partners, primarily those from Sápmi, we address topics and challenges relevant to this region and its inhabitants today. A programme of lectures, film screenings, panel discussions, music and slow food events offers insight into the diversity of Sámi culture and society. The thematically focussed day entitled "We celebrate our culture" is dedicated to the Sámi duodji and demonstrates their work is much more than a craft. Another day, defined by the slogan "We protect our land", revolves around Sámi activism, "green colonialism" and sustainable tourism. (Specific descriptions about the individual events on these and other days will follow soon.)

The focus on Sámi cultural heritage is not limited to Cultural Days programme: Since late 2022, researchers and artisans from Sápmi have been involved in a project funded by the German Lost Art Foundation in which they investigate the Sámi collection at the MEK. The project space "Áimmuin", set up especially for this collaboration, is first opened to the public as part of the Cultural Days